Follow TBR on TwitterFollow TBR on Facebook

TBR Featured Review

Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more does a novel need?

Be prepared to take a trip when reading When Life Was Like a Cucumber by Greg Wyss. This trip will be unlike any one you have ever taken before. That is unless you were in your 20s, living in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the East coast, more 

Book By Author:  Thomas T Fields Jr.

I Called Him Grand Dad
 I Called Him Grand Dad
Date Reviewed:   



A must read biography of one of America's most determined fighters of justice.


I Called Him Grandad by Thomas T. Fields, Jr., is an engrossing account of one of America's most determined fighters of justice. The biography of Harvey G. Fields follows him from his birth in Louisiana during the late 1800's to the early 1960's, one of the most traumatic and exciting times in American history. The details of his career as a prominent lawyer and dedicated politician were well known by his peers during that time and are documented by the dozens of letters of correspondence from Presidents, Senators and Governors shown throughout the book. I was absolutely dumbfounded at the amount of accomplishments and events that Fields had participated in or witnessed during his career. How could one man juggle all that responsibility? Thomas Fields Junior's writing draws you in from the start to follow Fields and his unwavering dedication to fair play - even if it meant risking his own political agenda. The account takes you through prohibition in the ‘20's, the famous Louisiana Scandals of the ‘30's and to the Post World War II shake-ups. We see snapshots of friendships and relationships built through those times that are well documented and engagingly described.

Although detailed about his career, I wanted to read more about his family life and outside interests because from his professional accounts, I could see that Fields was a southern gentleman dedicated to his family. He was a staunch advocate of justice, rallied for the downtrodden and took the corrupt to court. To say the least, the history of the United States as we know it would have been a bit different if it were not for Harvey G. Fields.


The title, I Called Him Grandad by Thomas T. Fields, Jr., suggests an easy going book with reflections of a paternal grandfather. This is not the case. It is an in depth biography of Harvey G. Fields whom I had not heard of. His list of appointments and accomplishments boggle the mind: successful lawyer; State Senator; Federal District Attorney (check out his conviction rate in the book); Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee; orator, author; but most of all, a staunch fighter for the justice system. As I started reading the book, I was drawn into Thomas’s writing style that was to the point, detailed and entertaining. One minor point is there are a few times that the stories do overlap, so there is some repetition. The biography spans Field's life from 1883 to 1961 - the years that shaped America into what it is now. The book also gives insight and detail into his close friends, acquaintances and co-workers, who were some of the most influential and powerful men in America at that time such as: Huey Long, the former Governor of Louisiana; President Roosevelt; Clarence Darrow, who defended Darwinism in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial in the 20's. The list goes on and on. An added bonus were the letters of correspondence included in the book from all of the players. How one man could keep up with all his involvements is a testament to Fields of his love of life and work.

What I found particularly interesting is the connections of the justice and political infrastructure that Fields was a part of. He was drawn into some of the major historic events at that time. Corruption was rampant before and during Fields time in office, and it is almost as if he wanted to singlehandedly tackle the "black hats" in Louisiana that had been ruling for years and years. He was a crucial part of the infamous Louisiana Scandals in the ‘30's that brought down many politicians. This did not actually help Fields in his political career; other agendas in Washington ruled that day. Fields was part of some of the most cut-throat wrangling that America has ever seen.

Thomas does not dwell too much into the home life and outside activities of Fields, although I think that may have shown another side to the man. He does elude that in retirement he enjoyed talking to random strangers about all types of events. This suggests that Fields was a likable individual and a bit of a storyteller, which eventually was passed down to his Grandson, the author. I have heard stories of Louisiana and, like most, have seen films about that southern state. To read about the pulse of power that ran that part of the world for those few decades and to see it though the eyes of a major player was a treat for this history buff.

Author Details

Back to author listing and Review search

Thomas Fields Jr. Author:  Thomas T Fields Jr.


Tom Fields was born and raised in the rural North Louisiana town of Farmerville. He graduated from Farmerville High School and at the age of sixteen, he became one of the youngest committee clerks in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Following a tour of Viet Nam in the Navy, he attended Northeast Louisiana University. He also graduated from the Louisiana Military Academy and received a commission in the U.S. Army Reserves. Following graduation, Fields became a project engineer for the oil giant ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia. Fields currently works for CenturyLink where he is a Corporate Project Manager.