9780312293956

The Wizard of Washington Emil Hurja, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Birth of Public Opinion Polling

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780312293956

  • ISBN10:

    031229395X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-02-09
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

Historians have pointed to John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign as the first time a presidential candidate relied extensively on public opinion polls. Since then, polling has come to define American politics, and is perhaps most clearly embodied in Bill Clinton, the most poll-driven president in history. Melvin G. Holli, however, reveals that reliance on public opinion polls dates to the New Deal Era, when Franklin D. Roosevelt employed a first-generation Finnish-American named Emil Hurja to conduct polls for his 1932 and 1936 campaigns. Roosevelt's triumph in 1932 and in 1936, as well as the spectacular 1934 Democratic congressional victory, is legendary. What few people know is the story about what happened behind the scenes: Emil Hurja was the driving force behind the Democrats during the New Deal Era. Holli restores Hurja to his rightful place American history and politics, showing us that the Washington press corps were right on target when they dubbed Hurja the "Wizard of Washington."

Author Biography

Melvin G. Holli is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author and co-editor of 15 books on urban, ethnic, and political history, including The American Mayor: The Best and Worst Big-City Leaders.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Growing up in a Frontier Boom Town: The Life and Times of the Hurjas
1(18)
College Days and Beyond
19(20)
1932 Presidential Election
39(18)
Polling and Patronage for Roosevelt and the New Deal
57(24)
Post--New Deal Hurja
81(16)
1939---Publishing, Polling, Consulting
97(28)
Notes 125(18)
Primary Sources 143(1)
Selected Bibliography 144(5)
Index 149

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