Books: The Great Standpatter

TYRANT FROM ILLINOIS (248 pp.)—Blair Bolles—Norton ($4.50).

There was always a cuspidor planted on his library rug, and he could make it chime like a bell. Ladies covered their ears at his "hells" and "damns," but everybody agreed he was a stout old character. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives and his full name was John Joseph Gurney Cannon, but Americans called him "Uncle Joe."

Uncle Joe came up the hard way, and the country respected him for it. As a boy he sold calico and plowshares to support his widowed mother. Later he read law in a Terre Haute law...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!