Book — xviii, 317 p.,  p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm.
The highly-anticipated memoir by one of the giants of the U.S. Senate-a book as fascinating, frank, and full of fervor as the man himself. The first Republican elected to the Senate from North Carolina since Reconstruction, Jesse Helms was both a bane and a boon to Presidents for thirty years, championing such core conservative causes as low taxes, anticommunism, and school prayer, while working to become Chairman of the crucial Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a post he attained in 1995. Now he chronicles the inside story of his rise to power and all those who defended or fought him, from Nixon and Reagan to Kennedy and Clinton. Born a seventh-generation citizen of the small town of Monroe, Helms recalls his hardworking family and the inspiring image of his father, the six-foot-five-inch chief of the town's fire and police departments. As a result of his career in journalism, Helms was introduced to both his beloved wife, Dot, and the conservative views of her father, Jacob Coble. At the time of his greatest influence as a radio editorialist, Helms ran successfully for the Senate in 1972, arguing that a "spiritual rebirth" was needed in America and that it was necessary to derail "the freight train of liberalism, " beliefs to which he remained faithful for the rest of his career. From a time when conservatives in the Senate "could have met comfortably in a phone booth" to the recent consolidation of conservative power in every branch of the federal government, Jesse Helms was a mover, shaker, and lightning rod for the Republican Party on issues ranging from the Panama Canal to race relations to Roe v. Wade to Iran-Contra. Yet Here's Where I Stand is more than just thestory of Helms himself. It is a series of intimate portraits of people he befriended and, at times, beat back: Richard Nixon, his respect for whom turned to disillusion; Jimmy Carter, a fellow son of the South with whom he had little in common; Ronald Reagan, the long-shot star whom Helms supported early and then saw become his favorite U.S. leader; Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle, be they kindred spirits like Barry Goldwater or friendly foes like Paul Wellstone; and world leaders to whom he became close, as disparate as Margaret Thatcher and the Dalai Lama. All the events of the recent past that shook and shaped America are recounted by Helms as he experienced them from his seat at the center of power, including the Kennedy assassination, the Watergate hearings, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Clinton impeachment. A fitting coda to his impressive career, Here's Where I Stand is at once a revealing glimpse into the spirit of an important politician and an engaging journey through much of the past American century. (source: Nielsen Book Data) 9780375508844 20160527