The Honorable John S. Wilder has served the constituents of Tennessee for over forty-years, and this historical accomplishment serves as the foundation of this work. In his political life, Lieutenant Governor Wilder has directly or indirectly impacted some of the most important administrative and public policy decisions over this period of time. Through archival document analysis and personal interviews with the Lieutenant Governor and many of his closest aids, political colleagues, and staunch opponents, the authors of this text have traced the history of John S. Wilder's accomplishments and defeats from the late 1950s to the present. This triangulation of data collection and analysis helped the authors uncover forgotten political stories, and assisted in substantiating facts about many of the Lieutenant Governor's major political decisions. Highlighted in the text are Wilder's political triumphs over two coup attempts within the Democratic Party to oust him as Speaker of the Senate in the late 1980s. These efforts failed when the longest serving State Legislator in American history reached across party lines to maintain control of the second most powerful position in Tennessee state government. Now in his late 80's, Wilder is still determined as ever to continue leading the Tennessee Senate well into the twenty-first century. This book chronicles the political career of the man from Somerville.
Rodney E. Stanley is Associate Professor for the Institute of Government at Tennessee State University. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. He has published numerous academic journals, and is currently the director of graduate programs for public administration at Tennessee State University. P. Edward French is Assistant Professor in the Division of Public and Nonprofit Administration at the University of Memphis. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. Currently, he teaches graduate classes in urban administration and human resource management. He has published in numerous academic journals and is the co-author of Managing America's Small Communities and Understanding American Government.
Part 1 Acknowledgements Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 The Boy from Fayette County Chapter 4 The Box in the Bushes Campaign Chapter 5 The Wilder-Beast and Political Parties in Tennessee Chapter 6 Diverse Relationships with Eight Different Governors Chapter 7 The Perceived John Wilder: Friends and Foes Chapter 8 An Illustrious Career in Politics