Robert Mann


Robert Mann is the author of numerous books, most recently Becoming Ronald Reagan: The Rise of a Conservative Icon and Backrooms and Bayous: My Life in Louisiana Politics. He holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.




10:30 am to 11:00 am
State Capitol, House Committee Room 6
Kingfish U: Huey Long and LSU

11:15 am to Noon
Cavalier House Books Tent
Book Signing

12:15 pm to 1:00 pm
State Library Seminar Center
The Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia
with Natasha Lance Rogoff and moderator Robert Mann


Kingfish U: Huey Long and LSU

No political leader is more closely identified with Louisiana State University than the flamboyant governor and U.S. senator Huey P. Long, who devoted his last years to turning a small, undistinguished state school into an academic and football powerhouse. From 1931, when Long declared himself the “official thief” for LSU, to his death in 1935, the school’s budget mushroomed, its physical plant burgeoned, its faculty flourished, and its enrollment tripled.

Along with improving LSU’s academic reputation, Long believed the school’s football program and band were crucial to its success. Taking an intense interest in the team, Long delivered pregame and halftime pep talks, devised plays, stalked the sidelines during games, and fired two coaches. He poured money into a larger, flashier band, supervised the hiring of two directors, and, with the second one, wrote a new fight song, “Touchdown for LSU.”

While he rarely meddled in academic affairs, Long insisted that no faculty member criticize him publicly. When students or faculty from “his school” opposed him, retribution was swift. Long’s support for LSU did not come without consequences. His unrelenting involvement almost cost the university its accreditation. And after his death, several of his allies—including his handpicked university president—went to prison in a scandal that almost destroyed LSU.

Rollicking and revealing, Robert Mann’s Kingfish U is the definitive story of Long’s embrace of LSU.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

Read More


Follow on Twitter

We are social
Quick Email