Matthew Strandmark discussing and signing Gatewood

Saturday, November 18, 2023 - 2:00pm
161 Lexington Green Cir
Lexington, KY 40503

Matthew Strandmark discussing and signing Gatewood

Saturday, November 18 at 2pm ET 

Location: Joseph-Beth Lexington

Join us for Matthew Strandmark discussing and signing Gatewood: Kentucky’s Uncommon Man. Optional RSVP is below, but not required to attend the event.

When Louis Gatewood Galbraith passed away in 2012, the flood of tributes honoring him merely scratched the surface of the life of this colorful and controversial figure. Throughout his political career, regional and national media outlets focused on the policy ideas and public acts that made Galbraith a cultural fixture: public demonstrations, an affinity for recreational drug use, unfiltered language, and recurring political campaigns. Best known as an advocate for the legalization of cannabis, Second Amendment rights, and smaller government, Galbraith was a perennial candidate whose once-quixotic platform might have found traction in contemporary Kentucky politics.

In Gatewood: Kentucky's Uncommon Man, Matthew Strandmark weaves together personal stories, public records, and oral history interviews to provide a comprehensive overview of the life and career of an eccentric and fascinating figure. From his ailment-plagued childhood in Carlisle, Kentucky, to his young adulthood spent at the fringes of Lexington society, the opening chapters of Galbraith's life were vital in developing the values that later came to define his political career―his passion for rural communities and low tolerance for bullies. As a college dropout in the 1960s, Galbraith explored both conventional and unconventional avenues of self-discovery before returning to the University of Kentucky, where he graduated from law school and found his calling as an evangelist for cannabis legalization. His appetite for the spotlight and his penchant for standing up for the underdog launched Galbraith into a thirty-year career of campaigning, groundbreaking legal cases, public activism throughout the commonwealth―and friendships with celebrities, including Woody Harrelson, Jack Herer, and Willie Nelson.

As an attorney, activist, author, father, friend, and opponent, Galbraith wore many hats―and not just his beloved fedora. This revealing biography features insightful conversations with Galbraith's family and colleagues, as well as commentary from Paul E. Patton, Ernie Fletcher, Andy Barr, Ben Chandler, and other well-known Kentuckians. Gatewood provides a richer and nuanced understanding of a generous, complicated, and flawed public figure who devoted his life to helping others and whose legacy will continue to resonate with Kentuckians for generations to come.


Matthew Strandmark is an educator, researcher, and archivist, and serves as the Education Archivist and Academic Liaison to the Appalachian Studies department at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center. Previously he served as the Outreach Archivist at Emory University's Rose Library, in Atlanta, Georgia. He received Master of Arts (History) and Master of Library Science degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington where his research focused on modern American history.


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