Local journalist releases new history book

Local journalist releases new history book
Micheal Lee Pope. journalist and author, released his new book Monday, Oct. 10.

By Ariana Wilson | awilson@alextimes.com

Michael Lee Pope, an Alexandria journalist and author released his new book, “The Byrd Machine,” on Monday.

The book explores how The Byrd Machine, a state political machine headed by former Sen. Harry Byrd, influenced Virginia politics for more than half a century.

According to a news release, the organization “[wielded] power and influence over everything from who got the nod to be governor to how the state maintained racial segregation.”

In the history book, Pope investigates the rise and fall of the Virginia political machine, which he writes “operated with a pathological hatred of debt spending, crushing the power of labor unions and forcing its will on Black schoolchildren protesting separate and unequal facilities.”

Pope is an Old Town resident who has reported for NPR, the New York Daily News and Northern Virginia magazine.

A book launch will take place at the Athenaeum at 201 Prince Street, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.