The Centennial Senator: True Stories of Strom Thurmond from the People Who Knew Him Best by R.J. Short

The University of S.C. Press

While the newly-published The Centennial Senator is mostly comprised of complimentary short stories, amusing anecdotes, candid recollections, and pretty light fare from friends and colleagues of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, some of the photos scattered through the pages are truly remarkable. Younger adults may only remember “the old Strom” — the shuffling elder statesman with the raspy voice who made it to 100 while still serving in the Senate. The best parts of The Centennial Senator are the black and white photos from his early career in politics and in the military (he volunteered for service in the Army at the age of 39, taking a leave of absence as a state senator). Shots like the one on page 271, showing a shirtless Thurmond “with two pretty ladies on Myrtle Beach in the summer of 1947,” remind us of other things.

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