Long is best known over here as the inspiration for the character of Governor Willie Stark in Robert Penn Warren's novel All the king's men. Long was a bit of a curio, as he espoused genuinely radical redistributive opinions at the same time as being the archetypal Southern demagogue and the BFF of Father Charles Coughlin, the radio priest, one of America's most notorious anti-semites. He was loathed by white supremacists, industrialists, senators, socialists, the respectable middle classes — everyone, in fact, except voters in his home state of Louisiana (which is a very particular southern state, in part because of the cajun/catholic/creole heritage). I guess the closest modern comparison would be George Galloway, although Long was more charismatic and, probably, more corrupt.
Talking of southern demagogues, I had no idea about this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wal ... _positions
In the late 1970s, Wallace announced that he was a born-again Christian and apologized to black civil rights leaders for his earlier segregationist positions. He said that while he had once sought power and glory, he realized he needed to seek love and forgiveness.[note 3] In 1979, Wallace said of his stand in the schoolhouse door: "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." His final term as governor (1983–1987) saw a record number of black appointments to state positions. In his fourth term, Wallace became the first governor to appoint two black members in the same cabinet, a number that has been equaled but never surpassed.