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VOL. 124 | NO. 240 | Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thompson to Publish Memoir

By Andy Meek

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BOOKEND: Fred Thompson campaigns in his hometown of Lawrenceburg in 2007, before quitting his run for president. The politician, actor and attorney is getting ready to release a memoir.AP PHOTO/MARK HUMPHREY

Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has penned his memoir and given it a title that reflects his early days in small-town Tennessee.

The 67-year-old former politician, actor and avuncular radio host who graduated from the University of Memphis titled his book “Notes from a Country Lawyer.” It’s scheduled for release in May.

Amazon.com already is selling pre-orders of the book, the cover of which shows a smiling Thompson wearing a suit and seated on a brick front porch.

The title is a label no doubt intended to hearken back to the days long before Thompson dabbled in presidential politics, eventually throwing his support last year behind longtime friend and Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The “country lawyer” label also predates one of his better-known acting roles as New York Dist. Atty. Arthur Branch, which Thompson played on the long-running NBC drama “Law & Order.”

‘Steady Eddie’

Raised in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. – also the hometown of current Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter – Thompson prosecuted bank robbers and moonshiners as an assistant U.S. attorney in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Stumping before a crowd of several hundred people in Lawrenceburg’s town square in late 2007, Thompson evoked flashes of the country lawyer he used to be. He strolled here and there, gesturing to landmarks that reminded him of his early days and places long gone.
The gathering was in support of Thompson’s presidential bid.

He pointed to where a courthouse once stood, where he tried his first lawsuit while dodging buckets set out to catch rainwater as he paced in front of the jury.

Jerry Hughes, the proprietor of a gift shop on the town square called Thompson Station, told The Daily NewsLawrenceburg still appreciates the former senator’s style.

“He’s laid back. It’s just his nature,” Hughes said. “He’s a steady Eddie.”

Exit, stage right

Meanwhile, Thompson isn’t the only politician with a Memphis connection who has a memoir coming out in 2010.

Harold Ford Jr., the former U.S. representative for the 9th Congressional District that generally encompasses Memphis, is coming out in September with “More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education.”

Ford’s 320-page book will reflect on what he’s learned on the campaign trail, as well as from his place in one of the city’s most prominent political families.

Ford, the 9th District congressman from 1997 to 2007, won the seat after it had been held by his father, Harold Ford Sr., for 22 years.

The younger Ford came within 50,000 votes and 3 percentage points of winning in 2006 the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Bill Frist. Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker won that race in a hard-fought campaign that proved to be Ford’s second act on the national political stage.

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