Wizards: David Duke, America's Wildest Election, and the Rise of the Far Right (Paperback)
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A corrupt old Democrat. A surging Republican populist. The Democrat, hounded by corruption allegations; the Republican, dogged by business failures and ties to white supremacists. The Republican turned out thousands of screaming supporters for speeches blaming illegal immigrants and crime on the Democrats, and the Democrat plummeted in the polls. Sound familiar? The '91 Louisiana Governor's race was supposed to be forgettable. But when former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke shocked the nation by ousting incumbent Republican Governor Buddy Roemer in the primary, the world took notice. Democrat Edwin Edwards, a former three-term governor and two-time corruption defendant, was left alone to face Duke in the general election--and he was going to lose. Then a little-known state committeewoman stepped in with evidence of Duke's nefarious past. Could her evidence be enough to sway the minds of fired-up voters, or would Louisiana welcome a far-right radical into the highest office in the state? Journalist Brian Fairbanks explores how the final showdown between Duke and Edwards in November 1991 led to a major shift in our national politics, as well as the rise of the radical right and white supremacist groups, and how history repeated itself in the 2016 presidential election. The story of these political "wizards," almost forgotten by history, remains eerily prescient and disturbingly relevant, and a compulsive page-turner.
About the Author
Brian Fairbanks was Gawker's first investigative reporter. Before that, he worked with Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley at the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Business Insider, and the New York Press, among others. He lives in New Orleans.