The political and personal story of Strom Thurmond, including his relationship with his black daughter Essie Mae Washington, will be the centerpiece of a C-Span2 Book-TV presentation at 8 p.m. Sunday, August 21st. The program is part of C-Span's Public Lives series and features College of Charleston Professor Jack Bass, co-author of Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond. The program was taped at the Charleston County Main Library in July and was part of the Friends of the Charleston County Public Library's book series.
The book, by Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson, is their second joint project on the life and career of South Carolina's long-serving senator and former governor. They wrote Ol Strom together in 1998, but this is their first attempt at tackling the life of the legendary politician since Essie Mae Washington Williams confirmed she was the Thurmond's illegitimate daughter.
Bass first met Thurmond in the mid-1960s as a political reporter. A professor at the College of Charleston, he said he hoped the biography would capture the complex and sometimes contradictory aspects of Thurmond's life in an unbiased way that leaves it to the reader to pass judgment.
Bass has a doctorate in American Studies from Emory University and is author or co-author of seven books about the American South.