The Life of Pennsylvania Governor George M. Leader: Challenging Complacency (Hardcover)

The Life of Pennsylvania Governor George M. Leader: Challenging Complacency By Kenneth C. Wolensky Cover Image
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The Life of Pennsylvania Governor George M. Leader tells the story of George Michael Leader who, at 36 years old, was the second youngest governor ever elected to the office, and served from 1955 to 1959. His chances at being elected were tenuous at best: Democrats never fared well in pursuit of the Governor's Office in the Keystone State. His election was an upset. Republican Party stalwarts were stunned at the tally in Leader's favor. And, his election ushered in an era when the Commonwealth's electorate shifted its allegiance from majority Republican to majority Democrat, a trend that continues in the 21st century. Leader's administration achieved landmark legislation for economic development, civil rights, education for disabled children, mental health care reform, the environment, expansion of civil service, professionalization of government and in many other areas. Some referred to Leader as a refreshing change to politics-as-usual in the State Capitol. His opposition referred to him as "that stubborn young governor." Leader was proud of both monikers. George Leader dates to an era when politics were quite different. Handshakes secured votes, campaign budgets were small, modern mass media was in its infancy, personal attacks were few and political patronage was rampant at all levels of government. Challenging Complacency stands as the only oral history-based account of a Pennsylvania governor. Written by a leading Pennsylvania historian while the former governor was in his 9th decade of life, here Governor Leader tells his remarkable story.

About the Author

Kenneth C. Wolensky is a historian with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg, PA. Governor George M. Leader was governor of Pennsylvania from 1955-1959 and remains active in public affairs.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781611460797
ISBN-10: 1611460794
Publisher: Lehigh University Press
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2011
Pages: 176
Language: English