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Philip Hoff

How Red Turned Blue in the Green Mountain State

Hand, Samuel B., Anthony Marro, and Stephen C. Terry

Publication Year: 2011

This is the story of one of the most exciting and important periods in Vermont history, and of the man most responsible for shaping it During Philip Hoff's six years as governor of the Green Mountain State (1963–1969), the politics, demographics, economics and government structure of Vermont changed in major and long-lasting ways, and a new liberal tradition took hold. He was an activist governor, pushing new ideas, concepts and programs and challenging the idea that Vermont governors should be caretakers in the way that his predecessors had been. Hoff very much believed that government was and should be the primary force in bringing about social change, saying that “Every significant decision of our time is going to be made in the governmental arena.” He was quick to support efforts to modernize government operations that he considered obsolete and inefficient. But his influence on the state was profound and long lasting. At the time he left office in January 1969, the Rutland Herald predicted that, “it will be impossible to turn back the clock to the political era of caretaker governors.” Hoff himself left office believing that his six years as an activist governor finally “got Vermont off the dime.” Bill Kearns put it more bluntly, saying that Hoff “picked up the state by the back of the neck and gave it a damned good, much needed shaking.”

Published by: University Press of New England


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Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece

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pp. ix-xi

This book began with a series of newspaper articles by Stephen Terry about the years that Philip H. Hoff served as governor of Vermont. The . . .

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pp. 1-12

As the only state to have supported every Republican presidential candidate since the founding of the party in 1854, Vermont in 1962 could still . . .

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1 Political Baptism

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pp. 13-42

Philip Hoff arrived in Vermont in June 1951 with his pregnant wife, Joan, his young daughter, Susan, and all their family possessions squeezed into . . .

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2 “The Only Democrat in My Administration”

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pp. 43-70

Almost immediately after the election, Phil and Joan Hoff headed off to Puerto Rico for a much-needed vacation. He had run the longest and most . . .

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3 The Hoff Era in Full Flower

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pp. 71-95

It was just after 3:30 on the afternoon of Friday, May 14, 1965, when the vote to reapportion the Vermont House of Representatives came to an . . .

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4 The Third Term

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pp. 96-123

Before Hoff’s formal announcement that he would seek a third term, U.S. Senator George Aiken warned that public opposition to third gubernatorial . . .

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5 Civil Rights in the Whitest State

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pp. 124-147

On October 25, 1964, Governor Hoff and Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama appeared on Meet the Press, the popular NBC Sunday evening . . .

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6 National Politics

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pp. 148-178

On December 15, 1967, Washington was getting ready for the holidays. It was a particularly busy social season for President and Lady Bird . . .

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pp. 179-194

No individual deserves more credit (or in the view of political rivals more blame) for the transformation of Vermont than Philip Hoff. Many of . . .


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pp. Image 1-Image 16


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pp. 195-197

E-ISBN-13: 9781611680324
E-ISBN-10: 1611680328
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611682076
Print-ISBN-10: 161168207X

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 25 illus.
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 821733057
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Philip Hoff

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Subject Headings

  • Vermont -- Biography.
  • Hoff, Philip H. (Philip Henderson), 1924-.
  • Governors -- Vermont -- Biography.
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