Backrooms and Bayous
My Life in Louisiana Politics
State history, behind-the-scenes stories, funny anecdotes, and life lessons come together to form Robert Mann's indelible memoir about his life and career alongside some of the most powerful lawmakers in the South. Offering an in-depth, personal perspective of working in government, Mann shares the lives of major politicians and how they affected his own beliefs, eventually shifting his ideological views. Mann has known every Louisiana governor--aside from Uncle Earl--since 1944. He has interviewed past presidents, senators, and aides as a journalist and served as press secretary to two of the most influential Louisiana legislators. He acted as press secretary to the 1990 US Senate reelection campaign of J. Bennett Johnston when he defeated former Klan leader David Duke. He helped elect Mary Landrieu to the US Senate, and his engaging stories range from Russell Long's struggle with his father's past to how Mann lost John Breaux's suitcase. Through it all, Mann writes with humor and empathy, casting politics and politicians in a refreshing, human light. His life story serves as both a cautionary tale for young people seeking a political career and an entertaining recitation of his decades of experience, offering a fresh look at Louisiana political history.