The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

Hattie and Huey: An Arkansas Tour. By David Malone. Foreword by Sena-
tor David Pryor. (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1989.
Pp. xvi+ 192. Acknowledgments, illustrations, prologue, epilogue,
appendices, notes, index. $22.00, cloth; $11.95, paper.)
Neither Hattie Caraway nor Huey P. Long had long or distinguished
careers in the United States Senate. They differed in personality, tem-
perament, and ideology. But for eight days in August 1932 they com-
bined to captivate Arkansans. Caraway had been appointed to the Sen-
ate upon the death of her husband, the incumbent, and had won an
election to complete his unfinished term in 1931. In 1932 she surprised
experts by running for a full term against six well-known male oppo-
nents. Few gave her much chance.
Caraway had befriended Huey Long because she sat near him in the
Senate, and she had voted for his proposal to share the wealth by con-
fiscating and dispersing millionaire incomes and estates. Long decided
to campaign for Caraway, motivated by his desire to promote himself
and his program, help a woman, and indirectly assault the other Arkan-
sas senator, Joseph T. Robinson, an archenemy who thought little of
David Malone provides biographical information on each of Car-
away's opponents but little on Caraway herself. We learn nothing of her
upbringing, education, intellect, or qualifications. However folksy she
may have been, it is doubtful that she was well qualified to sit in the
United States Senate. Malone describes her whirlwind campaign with
Long, relying largely on local newspaper reports of the joint appear-
ances. He tells us more about Long than Caraway because he was the
central figure. Long had worked as a salesman and attorney in Arkan-
sas, knew its people and politicians, and was at home in a neighboring
state as impoverished as his own. The duo spoke to huge, enthusiastic
crowds, employing sound trucks and distributing circulars. Long's ex-
temporaneous speeches were colorful, anecdotal, and invective, but
demagogic and rarely issue-oriented. He quoted the Bible, told jokes,
and condemned President Herbert Hoover. Caraway was a less skillful
speaker but improved with practice.
Caraway won decisively, a remarkable achievement but no miracle.
She owed her victory largely to the memory of her husband. Moreover,
as the only female candidate she was assured a substantial share of the
women's vote. Nonetheless, the unexpected nature of the victory has
enshrined it in Arkansas folklore.
Malone concludes with a description of the subsequent careers of the
defeated candidates and an epilogue. Photos, appendices, endnotes,
and an extensive bibliography enhance the volume.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed January 26, 2015.