A Century of Memphis Politics Still Influenced by 'Boss' Crump

Apr 18, 2017

Otis Sanford is author of the new book "From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics".
Credit Christopher Blank/WKNO-FM

In his new book, From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics, Otis Sanford examines the winning political strategy of E.H.Crump, at one time the most powerful politician in the state of Tennessee.


"Boss" Crump's firm hold onto power in Memphis despite ongoing battles with newspaper editors and bitter rivals depended almost entirely on the votes of African-Americans, whose trust Crump earned with fulfilled promises and even some eyebrow-raising tactics. 

In this interview, Sanford fields questions about his book and makes note of come intriguing contemporary parallels.