Does People Do It? – Fred Harris

ght=”1″ />” by Fred Harris is a nice, easy read that gives great insight into many of the political events which shaped Oklahoma. Harris served as one of the state’s two senators to Congress between 1964 and 1972. He was in the middle of the debate and negotiations for civil rights and the Vietnam War, and experienced the personalities of President Lyndon Johnson and U.S. Sen. Bobby Kennedy.

Growing up in Walters, near Lawton, Harris describes his upbringing, which brought about the title of the book. The phrase came from an uncle who was trying to convince a company owner of giving him a job.

There are interesting tidbits about some of the important changes in Oklahoma, but what really comes through are the profiles of some of the notable politicians in state and national history. Harris dealt with some of the biggest names in state history, including Sen. Bob Kerr and Gov. J. Howard Edmondson, as well as former Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.

Harris gives a firsthand account of his historic upset victory over former University of Oklahoma head football coach Bud Wilkinson in 1964. Also interesting is Harris’ attempt at running for president in 1976.

For those who like to know more about Oklahoma politics and the characters that shaped the state, and get some insight into the events which shaped the world during the ’60s, “Does People Do It?” is just the read. University of Oklahoma Press“”Scott Cooper


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