Title: Oral History Interview with Herman Talmadge, July 29 and August 1, 1975. Interview A-0331-2.
Interviewer: Nelson, Jack
Interviewee: Talmadge, Herman
Subjects: Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919- Watergate Affair, 1972-1974 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 Democratic Party (Ga.) Georgia--Politics and government Press and politics--Georgia School integration--Georgia
Abstract: This is the second interview in a three-part series with Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia. In the first interview, Talmadge focused primarily on his early career in politics and his tenure as governor of Georgia from 1948 to 1955. In this interview, Talmadge shifts his focus to his years in the United States Senate. First elected in 1956, Talmadge had just entered his fourth term at the time the interview was conducted in 1975. Talmadge begins by describing the 1964 schism in the Democratic Party. In explaining his belief that there was room for variation and diversity along the conservative-liberal spectrum in both major political parties, Talmadge contends that he never seriously considered leaving the Democratic Party during those years. In addition, Talmadge offers his assessment of key political figures. He compares the leadership styles and accomplishments of presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford, and he offers his perception of leaders such as George Wallace, Ralph Nader, George McGovern, and Eugene McCarthy. Throughout the interview, Talmadge pays particular attention to issues of civil rights, the environment, consumerism, and the growing relationship between television and politics. In addition, Talmadge offers his views on the role of federal government, the changing social problems facing Americans during the mid-1970s, and his reaction to the Watergate scandal and its impact on politics.