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Former President Carter shows interest in Woodland Press title
President Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, demonstrated his interest in Woodland Press, LLC and in one of its most popular and enduring titles, "West Virginia Tough Boys," when he posed for this photograph in 2004. The title is authored by Woodland Press co-founder F. Keith Davis, with a foreword by West Virginia Senate President and Lt. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (of course, since that time, the new, revised edition of WV Tough Boys has been released in quality softcover).
The story is one that the former president can relate to, in that it is about politics in the South. Logan County’s Mountain State political kingpins from yesteryear—Claude Ellis, Raymond Chafin, Dan Dahill and others—break their silence about the antics during that time period in the book.
Rather than being just another report of the facts about Kennedy’s political moves in the Mountain State, this 254-page volume is a far more intimate effort that reveals a rare glimpse into the making of a country politician. It is the story of mountain politics as it once was and will never be again. It's history as told by those who lived it. Besides the hundreds of hours of recently recorded interviews with the local men and newspaper archival material, Davis utilized oral history transcripts that were available from the John F. Kennedy Library.
The book contains many rare photographs taken from recently discovered contact sheets, which have never before been published. Other photos within the volume are from Claude Ellis’ personal collection; Ellis was the leader of the John F. Kennedy for President campaign in Logan County in 1960. Also included is the unique perspective of Raamie Barker, who in 1968 was the 21-year-old chairman of the Robert F. Kennedy for President campaign in Logan County and now is the administrative assistant for Senator Earl Ray Tomblin. Barker shares his own poignant memories of then presidential hopeful Bobby Kennedy’s historic visit to Logan only weeks before his assassination.
"West Virginia, for good or for bad, has long been regarded by politicians from across the country as having some of the most memorable and colorful political figures, worthy of characterization in any novel. That’s why this book is appropriately titled West Virginia Tough Boys, because the lives they have lived, if reduced to print, would read more like political fiction than political fact," said Senate President and Lt. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in his foreword for the book. "This work backs up that thesis and with remarkable candor, makes it a personal walk through the immediate past history of a noble and proud people and their passionate relationship with the West Virginians who led them through such memorable and unforgettable times."
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