It took almost five years and some serious editing (at one time the book was 1,800 pages), but Leo Honeycutt has completed the authorized biography of Louisiana’s most controversial governor. Edwin Edwards: An Authorized Biography, hits bookstores Dec. 14, according to The Times-Picayune. The book’s Web site still does not include a release date.

Political columnist John Maginnis reports today that the first signing will be Dec. 13 at the State Archives Building in Baton Rouge, also noting that on Dec. 17 Honeycutt will be at the Old Governor’s Mansion for a talk and signing, sponsored by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana.

With a foreward by former Gov. Dave Treen, who had been fighting for Edwards' freedom until his recent death, the book was edited back to 641 pages.

Former Gov. Edwards, 82, is nearing the end of his 10-year prison term for scheming to rig riverboat licenses. He is due to be released from the Oakdale Correctional Facility in January 2011 and will then spend six months in a halfway house to earn his freedom.

Edwards hand-picked Honeycutt to write the book, though the journalist has maintained he had editorial freedom.

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