Only Blanton understands that integration is inevitable and that his task must be to make the transition as painless and bloodless as possible. That he fails may be due in part to his freewheeling, power-driven personality. But Blanton is also defeated by inertia, tradition, and demagoguery. He is, as he once describes himself, someone “who just got in the way of goddamn history.”
Is the state Texas and the governor Lyndon B. Johnson? King denies it, arguing that there are equal parts of Huey Long, Herman Talmadge, and Alfalfa Bill Murray. But, as Erisman says in his foreword, “Blanton, in his wheeling and dealing, his crudities and profanity, his ruthlessness and his compassion, is a dead-on portrait of LBJ in full cry.”
The One-Eyed Man presents a hauntingly clear picture of the 1960s in the South—the national grief over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the racial turmoil, the human dilemma faced by North and South alike. And it poses haunting questions for the reader: what separates the demagogue from the leader? What injustices are acceptable in the name of a larger justice? Who determines the greatest good for the greatest number?
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Published by Texas Christian University Press