SHREVEPORT – One of Louisiana politics’ most respected voices will visit LSUS to speak about arguably Louisiana’s most controversial political figure.
Robert Mann penned a new book “Kingfish U: Huey Long and LSU” and will speak at a May 23 book signing on the third floor of the Noel Memorial Library.
The event, hosted by the library’s Northwest Louisiana Archives, will begin at 5 p.m. with refreshments and copies of the book available for purchase. Attendees can also bring their own copy.
Mann details Long’s efforts to put LSU on a pedestal within the state and nationally as Long called himself the “official thief” for LSU in 1931.
By 1935, LSU’s budget mushroomed, its enrollment tripled and the campus flourished.
Long particularly immersed himself in LSU’s football team and band, believing that these two entities were the key to success and visibility on top of an improving academic reputation.
But Long’s intense involvement had drawbacks, insisting that no faculty member from “his school” opposed him, and offering swift retribution when opposition from LSU did occur.
After Long’s death, several of his allies, including his handpicked university president, went to prison in a scandal that nearly destroyed LSU.
This book is the next in a long line of publications from Mann, who was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame in 2015.
The accomplished author’s two most recent books include “Becoming Ronald Reagan: The Rise of a Conservative Icon” and “Backrooms and Bayous: My Life in Louisiana Politics.”
Mann is an authoritative voice on Louisiana politics, serving as communications director for then-Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco after lengthy tenures as press secretary for U.S. Senators John Breaux and Russell Long. He’s helped run campaigns as well as assisted in governing after successful campaigns.
He cut his journalism teeth at the Shreveport Journal and The Monroe News-Star in the 1980s covering Louisiana politics.
Mann, who serves as Manship Chair in Journalism at LSU, has published op-eds and book reviews in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Boston Globe, Politico and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.