The Political Career of W. Kerr Scott

The Political Career of W. Kerr Scott

The Squire from Haw River

New Directions in Southern History

by Julian M. Pleasants

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

414 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 28 b&w photos

  • Hardcover
  • 9780813146775
  • Published: November 2014


  • Paperback
  • 9780813177557
  • Published: July 2019



When W. Kerr Scott (1896--1958) began his campaign for the North Carolina gubernatorial seat in 1948, his opponents derided his candidacy as a farce. However, the plainspoken dairy farmer quickly gathered loyal supporters and mobilized a grassroots attack on the entrenched interests that had long controlled the state government, winning the race in a historic upset.

In this meticulously researched book, Julian Pleasants provides readers with a close look at the man who dramatically changed North Carolina politics. He traces Scott's productive and controversial political career, from his years as North Carolina commissioner of agriculture, through his governorship (1949--1953), to his brief tenure as a US senator (1954--1958). This long overdue examination of the career of W. Kerr Scott illuminates the spirit that transformed an introspective, segregated society dependent on tobacco and textiles into a vibrant, diversified economy at the center of the industrial, banking, and information revolution in the South.