Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
Harvey Leroy ‘Lee’ Atwater (1951-1991) was barely out of his teens when he burst onto the political scene in South Carolina in the early Seventies. Back then, the guitar-playing wunderkind loved the blues almost as much as he did serving as a consultant to conservatives during election campaigns.
A protégé of Strom Thurmond, he learned the tricks of the trade at the feet of an inveterate racist who once swore that blood would run in the streets of his state before he would allow integration. Thurmond, in fact, was such a hypocrite that he remained a bigot even after fathering a child with a 15 year-old Black servant.
As for Atwater, he devoted most of his days to denying African-Americans equal rights. And while he might have repented shortly before succumbing to brain cancer, that 11th-hour confession did little to undo the damage he had inflicted on minorities as the architect of the Reagan revolution.