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Senator Lister Hill biography praised for civil description of politics

A Senator's Wife RemembersPolitics is never simple, but as the current race for the White House continues to heat up, it’s nice to recall a simpler — or at least friendlier — time.

It’s for these elements that Professor Michael Thomason praises Henrietta McCormick Hill’s A Senator’s Wife Remembers: From the Great Depression to the Great Society, in a new article in the Mobile Press-Register. Hill was the wife of Alabama senator Lister Hill, and her book is compiled from diaries and letters written during her husband’s political career, collected by the Hills’ daughter.

“[Mrs. Hill’s] acquaintances were from all across the political spectrum, from the very conservative to Eleanor Roosevelt,” Thomason writes. “Her description of entertaining the first lady and accompanying her on a whirlwind tour of central Alabama is one of the high points of A Senator’s Wife Remembers. She liked people, and it was their personalities and manner that impressed her, perhaps more than their politics.”

Thomason notes that Mrs. Hill’s “life was hardly frivolous; it was real work. For example, she tried to help the mentally ill (at the horribly named Home for the Incurables).”

As modern political battles grow ever more bitter, Thomason points out that Mrs. Hill “is always very complimentary about the people she talks about and is quite proper in what she writes and how she describes her world. This may be the book’s strong suit. It is an honest and clearly-stated view of the world she lived in.” Thomason suggests that the book will be of interest both to general readers and those with an interest in Alabama or American political life, as well as to those studying gender or the role of women in politics.

Read the full article from the Mobile Press-Register.

A Senator’s Wife Remembers is available direct from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite bookseller.