Edgar Folk and Bynum Shaw, W. W. Holden, (1982)
W. W. Holden was written to analyze Holden’s entire lifetime. Folk and Shaw’s main objective is to write about the first Governor in American history to be impeached from office, without bias. By studying his earlier years in the south prior to the Civil War, the authors are able to offer a better understanding of the man that a state would come to abhor. After his
impeachment, Holden was not well received in North Carolina and little pro-Holden writings emerged. The authors main focus are to show the reasoning behind
Holden’s impeachment, through Holden’s own eyes. By critiquing his younger life, Folk and Shaw do a superb job in explaining why Holden reacted politically, the way he did during his tenure as Governor of North Carolina.
Holden was impeached because of what came to be known as the Kirk-Holden War, something that stemmed from the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the terror that ran rampant with the organization. Holden reacted olitically, and although it could never be proven at the time because of the secrecy of the Klan, the same members of the Klan were Holden’s political rivals. Rather than
branding Holden as others have done, Folk and Shaw dig deep into his life to portray why Holden reacted to the Klan violence in the political manner which he did. W. W. Holden is a political biography designed to track the political life of William Holden from his early years in the Antebellum South, to his hardships as Governor, and wraps up with what little Holden accomplished after his impeachment.
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