The political life of Ernest W. McFarland — lawyer, judge, senator, governor, Arizona Supreme Court justice, and businessman — is well documented. Less known is his life as a family man, country lawyer, rural judge, and visionary.
In Call Him Mac, Gary L. Stuart renders a nuanced portrait of a young, ambitious, restless, and smiling man on the verge of becoming a political force on his way to the highest levels of governance in Arizona and America.
Stuart reveals how Mac became an expert on water law and a visionary in Arizona’s agricultural future. Using interviews with friends and family and extensive primary source research, Stuart spotlights Mac’s unerring focus as a loving husband, father, and grandfather, even in times of great personal tragedy.
Mac’s commitments to his family mirrored his sense of fiduciary duty in public life. His enormous political successes were answers to how he dealt with threats to his own life in 1919, the loss of his first wife and three children in the 1930s, and a political loss in 1952 that no one saw coming.
Stuart writes the little-known story of how Arizona’s culture and citizens shaped this energetic, determined, likable lawyer. The fame Mac created was not for himself but for those he served in Arizona and beyond. Mac’s unparalleled political success was fermented during his early Arizona years, the bridge that brought him to his future as an approachable and likable elder statesman of Arizona politics.
"All of us who love Arizona are indebted to Gary Stuart for his very moving story of 'Mac’s' early years and his engagement with virtually every significant issue from the beginning to near the end of the 20th Century, noting he was a 'political star' in Washington (including his role as 'father' of the G.I. Bill) while retaining his very personal touch to all Arizonans as 'a man of the people, by the people, and for the people." - Lattie F. Coor, Ph.D., President Emeritus and Professor of Public Affairs, Arizona State University
“Despite having served six decades at the highest levels of public service in Arizona, Ernest McFarland is often overlooked as a major political workhorse who helped shape our state—and nation. His accomplishments overshadow his fame: the G.I. Bill, the Central Arizona Project, and the Arizona State Parks system, just to name a few. Stuart’s new book presents fresh insights about McFarland, an extraordinary individual who overcame illness and tragedy to accomplish, gracefully, so much vital work.” - Douglas C. Towne, Editor, Arizona Contractor & Community magazine
“Arizona legal historian Gary L. Stuart has reached a new pinnacle of success with is latest biography, Call Him Mac: Ernest W. McFarland, the Arizona Years. Stuart’s scholarship and passion for the “service above self” life of Senator McFarland—and the role he played in shaping post-World War II America—and his beloved state of Arizona—will remind readers of why we owe so much to the “Greatest Generation.” – Stuart Rosebrook, Ph.D., author of At Work in Arizona: The First 100 Years
[Pictured at right: Phoenix Business RadioX hostess Karen Nowicki interviews "Call Him Mac" author Gary L. Stuart]
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