Faculty|January 24, 2011 1:57 am

Hollins Professor Chronicles Political Career of George Allen

Starting Over makes the case that the former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator may once again become a force in state and national politics

Roanoke, Va. – A new book by a Hollins University professor of political science claims that the pundits who declared George Allen’s political career finished after the failure of his U.S. Senate reelection campaign in 2006 may have written Allen off too soon.

In Starting Over: A Political Biography of George Allen (University Press of America, Inc.), Edward A. Lynch explores the remarkable resilience of the former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator and provides a balanced look at his successes and failures. Allen officially announced on January 24 that he will be seeking the Republican nomination in 2012 to reclaim the Senate seat currently held by Sen. James Webb, who defeated Allen in the 2006 race.

“George Allen’s career parallels the ups and downs of modern American conservatism,” says Lynch. “He reinvented conservative political action in the post-Reagan, post-Cold War era, and the issues on which he had his greatest successes became the issues that fueled the Republican comeback in the 1990s. The Allen story is not over and his career has featured multiple returns from seeming oblivion.”

“Lynch makes a convincing case that George Allen not only is one of the most
consequential figures in modern Virginia politics, but also one who has had an important impact on the conservative movement nationally,” says Mark J. Rozell, professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. “Observers of Virginia politics need to read this book because, despite Allen’s surprising sudden downfall in 2006, I am convinced we have not heard the last from him. This book is not only the best work to date on this important leader; it is a guidepost to the likely next phase of George Allen’s political career.”

Lynch is a recognized expert on Virginia and national politics and is a frequent
commentator on television and radio. He chairs the Department of Political Science at Hollins.

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