Warren G. Harding: The American Presidents Series: The 29th President, 1921-1923
Warren G. Harding may be best known as America’s worst president. Scandals plagued him: the Teapot Dome affair, corruption in the Veterans Bureau and the Justice Department, and the posthumous revelation of an extramarital affair.
Raised in Marion, Ohio, Harding took hold of the small town’s newspaper and turned it into a success. Showing a talent for local politics, he rose quickly to the U.S. Senate. His presidential campaign slogan, “America’s present need is not heroics but healing, not nostrums but normalcy,” gave voice to a public exhausted by the intense politics following World War I. Once elected, he pushed for legislation limiting the number of immigrants; set high tariffs to relieve the farm crisis after the war; persuaded Congress to adopt unified federal budget creation; and reduced income taxes and the national debt, before dying unexpectedly in 1923.
In this wise and compelling biography, John W. Dean—no stranger to controversy himself—recovers the truths and explodes the myths surrounding our twenty-ninth president’s tarnished legacy.
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
A dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.
The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history.
The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure.
Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men.
The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.
The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace
Ulysses Grant emerges in this masterful biography as a genius in battle and a driven president to a divided country, who remained fearlessly on the side of right. He was a beloved commander in the field who made the sacrifices necessary to win the war, even in the face of criticism. He worked valiantly to protect the rights of freed men in the South. He allowed the American Indians to shape their own fate even as the realities of Manifest Destiny meant the end of their way of life. In this sweeping and majestic narrative, bestselling author H.W. Brands now reconsiders Grant's legacy and provides an intimate portrait of a heroic man who saved the Union on the battlefield and consolidated that victory as a resolute and principled political leader.
Ohio Presidents: A Whig and Seven Republicans
Eight presidents have roots in Ohio, where today these communities take pride in their heritage. William Henry Harrison, a Whig, served the shortest period of time as any president, but his legacy is the campaign strategy of 1840. Northern Whigs formed the Republican Party in 1854. After the Civil War, Ohio became a swing state for the party in presidential elections.
Ulysses S. Grant's exceptional leadership in the Civil War contrasted with his problems as president. Rutherford B. Hayes ended Reconstruction policies but could not protect the civil rights of African Americans in the South. James A. Garfield died from a gunshot fired by a disappointed office seeker. His death led to the first civil service laws. Benjamin Harrison's administration included policies to improve the Navy and economy, but he failed to win re-election. William McKinley won election to the White House, campaigning for conservative policies. He led the nation into the Spanish American War. An anarchist assassinated him, and Theodore Roosevelt became president. Serving two terms, Roosevelt wanted William H. Taft to succeed him as president. He soon criticized Taft for being too conservative. In spite of scandals in his administration, Warren G. Harding had important accomplishments in foreign and domestic affairs.
Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President
Who was the real Rutherford B. Hayes? Was he a great or inconsequential president? How did his early life and career shape his later years? How did his triumphs and failures alter our history? And why should we care? Ari Hoogenboom's masterful life of Hayes definitively answers those questions and shows why our nineteenth president deserves far greater recognition than he's received in the past.
William McKinley and His America
When George W. Bush won the White House, he was the first incumbent Republican governor elected president since William McKinley in 1896. William McKinley was the last of the Civil War veterans to reach the White House. Known widely as the Major, in honor of his military rank, he rose through Congress to head the crucial Ways and Means Committee where, in the early 1890s, he passed a strong and popular tariff bill. That success caught the eye of Marcus Hanna, a Cleveland industrialist with a passion for politics and an ambition to help make and elect a president. Democrats complained that McKinley was a mere puppet of the wealthy Hanna, but historians generally believe they were a well-matched team of two strong-willed men. With Hanna's help, McKinley was elected governor of Ohio in 1892. In 1896 McKinley swept away all rivals to win the presidential nomination on the first ballot. Faced in the general election by the well-respected and highly toured orator William Jennings Bryan, Republicans adopted their "Front Porch Campaign." Thousands of citizens from across the country were brought to McKinley's home in Canton for a handshake and a few words. Hanna arranged for this USD3-5 million campaign to be paid for by big business, with oil baron John D. Rockefeller writing the largest check. McKinley's military service and his support among veterans were significant factors in his campaign. He became the first presidential candidate in a generation to win a majority of the popular vote. McKinley was a popular president. Pushed reluctantly into the Spanish-American War, McKinley was instrumental in starting America on the path to becoming a global power. He was reelected by a landslide, and in 1901, after delivering a speech at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, he was assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. McKinley's vice president.
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
The extraordinary New York Times bestselling account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from bestselling author of The River of Doubt, Candice Millard.
James Abram Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, a renowned congressman, and a reluctant presidential candidate who took on the nation's corrupt political establishment. But four months after Garfield's inauguration in 1881, he was shot in the back by a deranged office-seeker named Charles Guiteau. Garfield survived the attack, but become the object of bitter, behind-the-scenes struggles for power—over his administration, over the nation's future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. Meticulously researched, epic in scope, and pulsating with an intimate human focus and high-velocity narrative drive, The Destiny of the Republic brings alive a forgotten chapter of U.S. history.
The William Howard Taft Presidency
The only president to later serve as chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft remarked in the 1920s that "I don't remember that I ever was President." Historians have agreed, and Taft is usually portrayed, when written about at all, as nothing more than a failed chief executive. In this provocative new study, the first treatment of the Taft presidency in four decades, Lewis L. Gould presents a compelling assessment of Taft's accomplishments and setbacks in office. Rich in human interest and fresh analysis of the events of Taft's four years in Washington, Gould's book shows why Taft's presidency is very much worth remembering on its own terms.
William Henry Harrison: The American Presidents Series: The 9th President,1841
The president who served the shortest term—just a single month—but whose victorious election campaign rewrote the rules for candidates seeking America's highest office
William Henry Harrison died just thirty-one days after taking the oath of office in 1841. Today he is a curiosity in American history, but as Gail Collins shows in this entertaining and revelatory biography, he and his career are worth a closer look. The son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Harrison was a celebrated general whose exploits at the Battle of Tippecanoe and in the War of 1812 propelled him into politics, and in time he became a leader of the new Whig Party, alongside Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. But it was his presidential campaign of 1840 that made an indelible mark on American political history.
Collins takes us back to that pivotal year, when Harrison's "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" campaign transformed the way candidates pursued the presidency. It was the first campaign that featured mass rallies, personal appearances by the candidate, and catchy campaign slogans like "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too." Harrison's victory marked the coming-of-age of a new political system, and its impact is still felt in American politics today. It may have been only a one-month administration, but we're still feeling the effects.