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Stuart Stevens to Talk Politics and Football at Overby Center

stuart stevens overby

Stuart Stevens, the Mississippian who managed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and returned to the state to pursue a happier campaign by taking his 95-year-old father to Ole Miss football games in 2013, will talk about his new book, The Last Season, and his experiences in a pre-game program Friday at 3 p.m. at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Overby Center Auditorium overlooking the Grove. Ole Miss is host to Vanderbilt the next day in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Stevens grew up in Jackson where his father, Phineas Stevens, was a prominent attorney. As a youngster, he attended numerous Ole Miss games with his father, who is now retired and the oldest living member of the Ole Miss Hall of Fame. To try to recapture some of the magic of his childhood, Stevens embarked on a mission to take his elderly dad to most of the games on the Ole Miss football schedule the year after Romney’s defeat. He followed up by writing his latest book about that season.

“Stuart’s wonderful book is not just a tale about Ole Miss football, nor simply a father-son story,” said Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie. “It’s a meditation on life and winning and losing and bonding again with his family, set against the backdrop of an up-and-down football season.”

The program will begin with a free-ranging conversation between Stevens and his friends Charles Overby, chairman of the center, and Wilkie. With another presidential election year upcoming, they are expected to touch on national politics as well as football. There will also be an opportunity for questions from the audience.

Although Stevens is best known for his work as a political consultant who served as a key figure in many races, including George W. Bush’s victorious campaign in 2000, he is also the author of several travel books and a novel.

His appearance is the first of two football weekend programs at the Overby Center this fall. Former Gov. Haley Barbour will be a guest on Oct. 23 – the day before the Texas A&M game – to talk about his new book, America’s Great Storm: Leading Through Hurricane Katrina.

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