James Z. George: Mississippi's Great Commoner by Timothy B. SmithJames Z. George: Mississippi's Great Commoner by Timothy B. Smith

James Z. George: Mississippi's Great Commoner

byTimothy B. Smith

Paperback | March 1, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 204 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


"When the Mississippi school boy is asked who is called the 'Great Commoner' of public life in his State," wrote Mississippi's premier historian Dunbar Rowland in 1901, "he will unhesitatingly answer James Z. George." While George's prominence has decreased through the decades since then, many modern historians still view him as a supremely important Mississippian, with one writing that George (1826-1897) was "Mississippi's most important Democratic leader in the late nineteenth century."

Certainly, the Mexican War veteran, prominent lawyer and planter, Civil War officer, Reconstruction leader, state Supreme Court chief justice, and Mississippi's longest serving United States senator in his day deserves a full biography. And, George's importance was greater than just on the state level as other Southerners copied his tactics to secure white supremacy in their own states.

James Z. George: Mississippi's Great Commoner seeks to rectify the lack of attention to George's life. In doing so, this volume utilizes numerous sources never before or only slightly used, primarily a large collection of George's letters held by his descendents and never used by historians. Such wonderful sources allow a glimpse not only into his times, but perhaps more importantly an exploration of the man himself, his traits, personality, and ideas. The result is a picture of an extremely commonplace individual on the surface but an exceptionally complicated man underneath. James Z. George: Mississippi's Great Commoner will bring this important Mississippi leader of the nineteenth century back into the minds of twenty-first-century Mississippians.

Title:James Z. George: Mississippi's Great CommonerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:277 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2014Publisher:University Press of MississippiLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1628460628

ISBN - 13:9781628460629


Editorial Reviews

"James Z. George was one of Mississippi's premier statesmen during a period when political labels like Redeemer, Bourbon, New Departure Democrat, conservative, racist, progressive, and liberal were so fraught with complexities as to be almost meaningless. Through prodigious research into the life of this complicated self-made man--who would disfranchise blacks but not tolerate racial violence, who opposed federal intervention but supported federal aid to education--historian Timothy B. Smith has written a compelling biography of this lawyer-politician known fondly as 'Mississippi's Great Commoner.'"--David G. Sansing, emeritus professor of history, University of Mississippi