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A 'Boogie Man' With A Legacy Of Complicated Moves

Lee Atwater, the political operative who ran George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign — and introduced the nation to Willie Horton — was a man with a knack for bare-knuckle campaigning and a voracious appetite for life.

A "guitar-picking rascal from South Carolina," in the words of documentary filmmaker Stefan Forbes, Atwater could seem like a conundrum: He could share a nightclub stage with legendary bluesman B.B. King on the one hand while masterminding "vile and racist" political dirty tricks on the other.

But these are the well-known things about Atwater: For his film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Forbes went looking for the stories people don't know. John Powers has a review.

Copyright 2023 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

John Powers is the pop culture and critic-at-large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He previously served for six years as the film critic.