ALL AYES ON BOOK; INDIANA POLITICAL HEROES
Book review by Cindy Cornwell
Author Geoff Paddock invites us into the political lives of eight of Indiana’s political figures through his book titled, “Indiana Political Heroes.”
The short stories raise the eyebrows of those readers who are interested in Indiana’s local political heroes and how they may have changed Indiana and the nation’s capitol as well.
The book offers a wealth of information to contemplate. Profiling Democratic as well as Republican lawmakers, Indiana Political Heroes, outlines the political paths of Birch Bayh, John Brademas, Richard Hatcher, R. Vance Hartke, William Hudnut, Richard Ristine, William Ruckelshaus, and J. Edward Roush.
Among the inspiring essays are those of J. Edward Roush, telling the story of Dan Quayle’s reluctance to challenge Roush. The book references a local Fort Wayne attorney Bruce Stier, who at the time, served as youth coordinator for the Roush campaign. “He had been a volunteer for the congressman’s previous campaigns in the Fourth District. Although Stier had no trouble recruiting young people to participate in walks, stuff envelopes, and work phone banks, he sensed the Roush organization was not quite as strong as in previous years. To strengthen the campaign, Stier organized a neighborhood block captain system in key precincts, sensing that Roush was going to need more help than usual in traditionally Democratic areas of Fort Wayne.”
With respect to political values readers are not only informed of local but also of U.S. Supreme Court, Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, national educational reform, and the growth of Indianapolis into a nationally respected community.
The author, Geoff Paddock, is the Executive Director of the Headwaters Flood Control and Park Project in Fort Wayne and is past president of the Fort Wayne Community Schools board of trustees. He is a frequent contributor to the Indiana Historical Society’s popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Paddock, executive director of the Headwaters Park Alliance, Inc. is also author of Headwaters Park: Fort Wayne’s Lasting Legacy (Arcadia Publishing, 2002).
Written through the eyes of a Fort Wayne community leader, in the end, the 192-page book rightfully identifies, “Hoosier leaders who have exhibited courage and conviction in their representation of our state.”
Mr. Paddock’s devotion and love for Indiana is evident. According to Midwest Book Review, Indiana Political Heroes receives a “5-star” rating. I concur.
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