A Yankee in a state that fancied itself southern, Goebel had to depend on a strong organization to win votes. As "The Kenton King" he created a new style of politics. To some he was a progressive reformer; to others, a tyrannical machine boss. His drive for power and his enemies' fierce opposition aroused violent political factionalism. Goebel's fateful duel with a rival, his partisan election law, and his ruthless convention tactics led to the bitterly contested gubernatorial election of 1899 that resulted in his murder.
Although the full truth about the murder was never revealed in nearly a decade of trials and the advent of progressive politics was long delayed in Kentucky, Goebel's death did relieve the state's political turmoil and induce some legal reforms. Using new sources and fresh perspectives, James C. Klotter portrays Goebel's tumultuous era and discovers the real man within the obscurity of his conflicting images.
About the Author
Table of ContentsLook on Opposition as Opportunity
Rebels, Reactionaries, and Reformers
Goebel and the Governors
Division and Discord
There Is Going to Be a Hot Fight
I Ask No Quarter and I Fear No Foe
Force Will Be Met with Force
Loyal to the Great Common People
The Search for the Assassin
He Is Goebel, That Is All