The book Red Gulluses: A Story of Georgia Politics is a book written by Allen Lumpkin Henson in 1945. The book is basically the story of the political career of Governor Eugene Talmadge of Georgia. Its written by an avid supporter an admirer of the Governor. While I can’t find much information on Henson, not surprising since the book Is over 70 years old and not well known, but it’s quite clear to see he was a fan of Talmadge. This clear fact hurts and helps his book. Keep in mind most history books are bias to various degree’s so I usually suspect bias, but this was 1945 and this book gives the opposite of the modern slander aimed at Gene. This book’s best accomplishment is clearing up the false idea that Talmadge was some power-hungry demagogue, the book is also quite colorful in its descriptions of early Georgia politics. I enjoyed that, but the book did suffer from not really digging into the deeper ideology and personality of Gene. That isn’t really the fault of Henson though. We must remember that when the book was written Talmadge was still alive and he was about to reveal his most legendary run for governorship in the summer of 1946. Talmadge at that point of his life would have been seen as a mythical old sage as he was relatively isolated down on his farm in South Georgia following his 1942 defeat by Ellis Arnall. That’s where the book ends in fact. I was hoping that Henson would actually fill in the more lesser known part of Gene’s life between 1942 and 1945, his years out of office, unfortunately the book neglects these years. From reading other books and referencing his newspaper The Statesmen I have myself mostly filled in the gaps of Gene’s turn in ideology at this point. Gene would really harden in his defiance during this time out of the spot light and would watch in disgust as the federal courts began striking down the voting and primary laws of the South. This all would eventually prompt his final run for governor in 1946 which was fully a racial ideological run instead of one of personality like his prior races of the 30s. Gene would run on the platform of restoring the White Primary in 1946 and would draw the ire and anger of the FBI in 1946. This is all in hindsight though so I couldn’t seriously hold this against the author. He was working with limited resources. That being said this book is recommended especially to Georgians and people interested by the life of Governor Eugene Talmadge. I think however that The Wild Man From Sugar Creek is the far more recommended book on Talmadge’s life, especially since it dives deeper into his entire life and views unlike this book. I’ve been writing a series of articles on Gene’s life using that as the main source on Identity Dixie which I recommend to all readers who can’t buy the book, so please feel free to read it. Overall Red Gullases is a 6/10 book in my eyes, that’s is of course my own opinion.
Note to reader: This book is free on archive.com as an audio book and paper copy to read. I recommend that over actually ordering the book which is hard to find and expensive. If I to had to pick between ordering a copy of The Wild Man from Sugar Creek or Red Gullases I would definitionally pick Wildman.