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Citadel News Service
7 Nov 2011

Lecture examines life, political career of former Gov. John C. West

The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice will host a book signing and lecture featuring a new biography about former South Carolina Gov. John C. West.

"Looking for Utopia,” examines the life and political career of the 1942 graduate of The Citadel. West was governor of South Carolina from 1971 to 1975, having first represented his native Kershaw County in in the South Carolina Senate. West was elected lieutenant governor in 1966 and in 1970 ascended to the governor’s office in 1970 and served until 1975.

The biography is written by Philip Grose, a former member of West’s staff and research associate at the University of South Carolina. Drawing on West’s personal journals and autobiographical sketches, as well as oral histories and his own relationship with West as a staffer and close friend, Grose has created a richly nuanced portrait of a statesman who stepped out of Depression-era South Carolina to champion causes of the underdog and underprivileged as governor and to represent often-unpopular diplomatic stances in the feverish politics of the Middle East as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. West died in 2001.

The lecture and book signing is at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 in Room 165 in Bond Hall on The Citadel campus. It is free and open to the public.

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