Four Hats in the Ring by Lewis L. GouldChoice Outstanding Title Imagine a presidential election with four well-qualified and distinguished candidates and a serious debate over the future of the nation! Sound impossible in this era of attack ads and strident partisanship? It happened nearly a century ago in 1912, when incumbent Republican William Howard Taft, former president Theodore Roosevelt running as the Progressive Party candidate, Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson, and Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs all spoke to major concerns of the American people and changed the landscape of national politics in the bargain. The presidential election of 1912 saw a third-party candidate finish second in both popular and electoral votes. The Socialist candidate received the highest percentage of the popular vote his party ever attained. In addition to year-round campaigning in the modern style, the 1912 contest featured a broader role for women, two exciting national conventions, and an assassination attempt on Roosevelt's life. The election defined the major parties for generations to come as the Taft-Roosevelt split pushed the Republicans to the right and the Democrats' agenda of reform set them on the road to the New Deal. Lewis L. Gould, one of America's preeminent political historians, tells the story of this dramatic race and explains its enduring significance. Basing his narrative on the original letters and documents of the candidates themselves, he guides his readers down the campaign trail through the factional splits, exciting primaries, tumultuous conventions and the turbulent fall campaign to Wilson's landslide electoral vote victory in November. It's all here--Gene Debs's challenge to capitalism, the progressive rivalry of Roosevelt and Robert La Follette, the debate between the New Freedom of Wilson and the New Nationalism of Roosevelt, and the resolve of Taft to defeat his one-time friend TR and keep the Republican Party in conservative hands. Gould combines lively anecdotes, the poetry and prose of the campaign, and insights into the clash of ideology and personality to craft a narrative that moves as fast as did the 1912 election itself. Americans sensed in 1912 that they stood at a turning point in the nation's history. Four Hats in the Ring demonstrates why the people who lived and fought this significant election were more right than they could ever have known.
Affection and Trust by Harry S. Truman; Dean Acheson; Ray Geselbracht (Editor); David C. Acheson (Editor); David McCullough (Introduction by)In this riveting collection, published for the first time, we follow Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, two giants of the post–World War II period, as they move from an official relationship to one of candor, humor, and personal expression. Together they were primarily responsible for the Marshall Plan and NATO, among other world-shaping initiatives. And in these letters, spanning the years from when both were newly out of office until Acheson’s death at the age of seventy-eight, we find them sharing the often surprising and always illuminating opinions, ideas, and feelings that the strictures of their offices had previously kept them from revealing. Adapting easily to their private lives, they nonetheless felt a powerful need to keep in touch as they viewed with dismay what they considered to be the Eisenhower administration’s fumbling of foreign affairs, the impact of Joseph McCarthy, John Foster Dulles’s foreign policy, and the threat of massive nuclear retaliation. Adlai Stevenson’s poor campaign of 1956, Eisenhower’s second-term mishaps, family events, speaking engagements, and Truman’s difficulties writing his memoirs are all fodder for their conversations. In 1960 their skeptical stance toward John F. Kennedy (and his father's influence) turned them toward Lyndon Johnson. After Kennedy won they discussed Acheson’s reluctant involvement in the Cuban missile crisis, his missions to de Gaulle and Prime Minister Macmillan, and the Allied position in Berlin. Unbuttoned, careless of language, unburdened by political ambition or vanity, Truman and Acheson show their own characters and loyalty to each other on every page. Truman, a Missouri farmer with the unpolished but sharp intellect of the largely self-educated man, clearly understands that in Acheson he has a friend with a rare gift for providing unhesitant and truthful counsel. Acheson, well-educated, urbane, and well-off, understands which traits in Truman’s complex character to love and admire and when to admonish, instruct, and tease him. Both men share a deep and abiding patriotism, a quality that truly stands out in today’s world. A remarkable book that brings to light the very human side of two of the most important statesmen of the twentieth century.
Call Number: E814 .A4 2010
Alexander Hamilton by Ron ChernowThe inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is "a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804. Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.
Call Number: Main E302.6.H2 C48 2004
American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump by Hal BrandsLooking beyond the headlines to address the enduring grand strategic questions facing the United States today American foreign policy is in a state of upheaval. The rise of Donald Trump and his "America First" platform have created more uncertainty about America's role in the world than at any time in recent decades. From the South China Sea, to the Middle East, to the Baltics and Eastern Europe, the geopolitical challenges to U.S. power and influence seem increasingly severe--and America's responses to those challenges seem increasingly unsure. Questions that once had widely accepted answers are now up for debate. What role should the United States play in the world? Can, and should, America continue to pursue an engaged an assertive strategy in global affairs? In this book, a leading scholar of grand strategy helps to make sense of the headlines and the upheaval by providing sharp yet nuanced assessments of the most critical issues in American grand strategy today. Hal Brands asks, and answers, such questions as: Has America really blundered aimlessly in the world since the end of the Cold War, or has its grand strategy actually been mostly sensible and effective? Is America in terminal decline, or can it maintain its edge in a harsher and more competitive environment? Did the Obama administration pursue a policy of disastrous retrenchment, or did it execute a shrewd grand strategy focused on maximizing U.S. power for the long term? Does Donald Trump's presidency mean that American internationalism is dead? What type of grand strategy might America pursue in the age of Trump and after? What would happen if the United States radically pulled back from the world, as many leading academics--and, at certain moments, the current president--have advocated? How much military power does America need in the current international environment? Grappling with these kinds of issues is essential to understanding the state of America's foreign relations today and what path the country might take in the years ahead. At a time when American grand strategy often seems consumed by crisis, this collection of essays provides an invaluable guide to thinking about both the recent past and the future of America's role in the world.
Camelot's Court by Robert DallekFifty years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, presidential historian Robert Dallek, whom The New York Times calls “Kennedy’s leading biographer,” delivers a riveting new portrait of this president and his inner circle of advisors—their rivalries, personality clashes, and political battles. In Camelot’s Court, Dallek analyzes the brain trust whose contributions to the successes and failures of Kennedy’s administration—including the Bay of Pigs, civil rights, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam—were indelible. Kennedy purposefully put together a dynamic team of advisors noted for their brilliance and acumen, including Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and trusted aides Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger. Yet the very traits these men shared also created sharp divisions. Far from being unified, this was an uneasy band of rivals whose ambitions and clashing beliefs ignited fiery internal debates. Robert Dallek illuminates a president deeply determined to surround himself with the best and the brightest, who often found himself disappointed with their recommendations. The result, Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, is a striking portrait of a leader whose wise resistance to pressure and adherence to principle offers a cautionary tale for our own time.
The Candidate by Samuel L. PopkinThere are two winners in every presidential election campaign: The inevitable winner when it begins--such as Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton in 2008--and the inevitable victor after it ends. In The Candidate, Samuel Popkin explains the difference between them. The road to the White House is littered with geniuses of campaigns past. Why doesn't practice make perfect? Why is experience such a poor teacher? Why are the same mistakes replayed again and again? Based on detailed analyses of the winners--and losers--of the last 60 years of presidential campaigns, Popkin explains how challengers get to the White House, how incumbents stay there for a second term, and how successors hold power for their party.
Call Number: Main JK524 .P63 2012
The Carter Presidency by Gary M. Fink (Editor); Hugh Davis Graham (Editor)After the Nixon and Ford administrations, liberal Democrats hoped Jimmy Carter's election in 1976 would restore the New Deal agenda in the White House. Instead, during four tumultuous years in office, Carter endorsed many of the fiscal and economic policies later espoused by his Republican successor, Ronald Reagan. But Carter also backed most New Deal social programs and, however reluctantly, pursued a traditional containment foreign policy. In this book more than a dozen eminent scholars provide a balanced overview of key elements of Carter's presidency, examining the significance of his administration within the context of evolving American policy choices after World War II. They seek not only to understand the troubled Carter presidency but also to identify the changes that precipitated and accompanied the demise of the New Deal order. By the time Carter took office many Americans had become disenchanted with big government and welfare spending, and his presidency is viewed in these pages as a transitional administration. As this volume demonstrates, Carter's dilemma emerged from his effort to steer a course between traditional expectations of federal government and new political and economic realities. While most of the contributors agree that his administration may be justly criticized for failing to find that course, they generally conclude that Carter was more successful than his critics acknowledge. These thirteen original essays cover such topics as the economy, trade and industrial policies, welfare reform, energy, environment, civil rights, feminism, and foreign policy. They offer thoughtful assessments of Carter's performance, focusing on policy both as cause and effect of the post-industrial transformation of American society that shadowed his administration. A final essay shows how Carter's public spirited post-presidential career has made him one of America's greatest ex-presidents. Grounded on research conducted at the Carter Library, The Carter Presidency is an incisive reassessment of an isolated Democratic administration from the vantage point of twenty years. It is a milestone in the historical appraisal of that administration, inviting us to take a new look at Jimmy Carter and see what his presidency represented for a dramatically changing America.
Days of Fire by Peter BakerIn Days of Fire, Peter Baker, White House Correspondent for The New York Times, takes us on a gripping and intimate journey through the eight years of the Bush and Cheney administration in a tour-de-force narrative of a dramatic and controversial presidency. Theirs was the most captivating American political partnership since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger: a bold and untested president and his seasoned, relentless vice president. Confronted by one crisis after another, they struggled to protect the country, remake the world, and define their own relationship along the way. In Days of Fire, Peter Baker chronicles the history of the most consequential presidency in modern times through the prism of its two most compelling characters, capturing the elusive and shifting alliance of George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney as no historian has done before. He brings to life with in-the-room immediacy all the drama of an era marked by devastating terror attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and financial collapse. The real story of Bush and Cheney is a far more fascinating tale than the familiar suspicion that Cheney was the power behind the throne. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with key players, and thousands of pages of never-released notes, memos, and other internal documents, Baker paints a riveting portrait of a partnership that evolved dramatically over time, from the early days when Bush leaned on Cheney, making him the most influential vice president in history, to their final hours, when the two had grown so far apart they were clashing in the West Wing. Together and separately, they were tested as no other president and vice president have been, first on a bright September morning, an unforgettable "day of fire" just months into the presidency, and on countless days of fire over the course of eight tumultuous years. Days of Fire is a monumental and definitive work that will rank with the best of presidential histories. As absorbing as a thriller, it is eye-opening and essential reading.
Call Number: Main E902 .B353 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-22
Dutch by Edmund Morris (Read by)The author uses a unique first-person narrative and comprehensive scholarship to chronicle the life of Ronald Reagan, the statesman and politician.
Call Number: Main E877 .M66 1999
Eisenhower Decides to Run by William B. PickettPresenting the results of research into some of Eisenhower's recently discovered letters and diaries, Pickett (history, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana) describes his bid for the presidency, showing that he was not the reluctant object of a presidential draft movement, as i
Call Number: E816 .P53 2000, Main
FDR by Kenneth S. DavisFDR: The War President opens as Roosevelt has been re-elected to a third term and the United States is drifting toward a war that has already engulfed Europe. Roosevelt, as commander in chief, statesman, and politician, must navigate a delicate balance between helping those in Europe--while remaining mindful of the forces of isolation both in the Congress and the country--and protecting the gains of the New Deal, upon which he has spent so much of his prestige and power. Kenneth S. Davis draws vivid depictions of the lives, characters, and temperaments of the military and political personalities so paramount to the history of the time: Churchill, Stalin, de Gaulle, and Hitler; Generals Marshall, Eisenhower, and MacArthur; Admiral Darlan, Chiang Kai-shek, Charles Lindbergh, William Allen White, Joseph Kennedy, Averell Harriman, Harry Tru-man, Robert Murphy, Sidney Hillman, William Knud-sen, Cordell Hull, Henry Morgenthau, Henry Stimson, A. Philip Randolph, Wendell Willkie, and Henry Wallace. The portrait of Henry Hopkins, who interacted with many of these personalities on behalf of Roosevelt, is woven into this history as the complex, interconnected relationship it was. Hopkins burnished the relationship between Churchill and Roosevelt and eased the way for their interactions with Stalin. Another set of characters central to Roosevelt's life and finely drawn by the author includes Eleanor Roo-sevelt, Sara Roosevelt, Missy LeHand, Grace Tully, Princess Martha of Norway, and Daisy Suckley. Integral to this history as well are the Argentina Conference, the Atlantic Charter and the beginnings of the United Nations, the Moscow Conference, lend-lease, the story of the building of the atomic bomb, Hitler's Final Solution and how Roosevelt and the State Department reacted to it, Pearl Harbor and war with Japan, the planning of Torch, and the murder of Admiral Darlan. All these stories intersect with the economic and social problems facing Roosevelt at home as the United States mobilizes for war. The lessons and concerns of 1940-1943 as dissected in this book are still relevant to the problems and concerns of our own time. A recurrent theme is technology: Do people control technology, or does technology control people? Kenneth Davis had the rare gift of writing history that reads with the immediacy of a novel; and though the outcome of this history is well known, the events and people depicted here keep the reader focused on an enthralling suspense story.
Call Number: E807 .D37 1986, Main
The Fiery Trial by Eric FonerIn this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Lincoln and the end of slavery in America. Foner begins with Lincoln's youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although naturally anti-slavery for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue. A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War's fundamental and astounding result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens. Foner's Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. This powerful work will transform our understanding of the nation's greatest president and the issue that mattered most.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Conrad BlackA brilliant and provocative biography of Franklin Roosevelt -written by a leading newspaper publisher and staunch conservative. Franklin Delano Roosevelt stands astride American history like a colossus, having pulled the nation out of the Great Depression and led it to victory in the Second World War. Elected to four terms as president, he transformed an inward-looking country into the greatest superpower the world had ever known. Only Abraham Lincoln did more to save America from destruction. But FDR is such a large figure that historians tend to take him as part of the landscape, focusing on smaller aspects of his achievements or carping about where he ought to have done things differently. Few have tried to assess the totality of FDR's life and career.Conrad Black rises to the challenge. In this magisterial biography, Black makes the case that FDR was the most important person of the twentieth century, transforming his nation and the world through his unparalleled skill as a domestic politician, war leader, strategist, and global visionary -all of which he accomplished despite a physical infirmity that could easily have ended his public life at age thirty-nine. Black also takes
Call Number: E807 .B58 2003, Main
From the Center to the Edge by William C. BermanThis is a historical interpretation of the politics and policies behind the Clinton administration, describing the origins, evolution and transformation of Clinton's programess for change. It looks at foreign and domestic issues, including the deficit reduction and the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts.
Guest of Honor by Deborah DavisIn this revealing social history, one remarkable White House dinner becomes a lens through which to examine race, politics, and the lives and legacies of two of America's most iconic figures. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to have dinner at the executive mansion with the First Family. The next morning, news that the president had dined with a black man and former slave sent shock waves through the nation. Although African Americans had helped build the White House and had worked for most of the presidents, not a single one had ever been invited to dine there. Fueled by inflammatory newspaper articles, political cartoons, and even vulgar songs, the scandal escalated and threatened to topple two of America's greatest men.
Call Number: Main E757 .D247 2012
Impeached by David O. StewartBy the author of "The Summer of 1787" comes a dramatic re-creation of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, which became the central battle of the struggle over how to reunite a nation after four years of war. bw photographs.
John Adams by David McCulloughThe Pulitzer Prize winning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough. In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history. This is history on a grand scale—a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
Call Number: E322 .M38 2001, Main
John Quincy Adams by Paul C. NagelJohn Quincy Adams was raised, educated, and groomed to be President, following in the footsteps of his father, John. At fourteen he was secretary to the Minister to Russia and, later, was himself Minister to the Netherlands and Prussia. He was U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and then President for one ill-fated term. His private life showed a parallel descent. He was a poet, writer, critic, and Professor of Oratory at Harvard. He married a talented and engaging Southerner, but two of his three sons were disappointments. This polymath and troubled man, caught up in both a democratic age not to his understanding and the furies of passion, was an American lion in winter.
Call Number: Main E377 .N34 1997
The Life of Herbert Hoover by Glen JeansonneThis is the first definitive study of the presidency of America's least understood and most under-appreciated Chief Executive. Combining government with private resources, Hoover became the first president to pit government action against the economic cycle, setting precedents and spawning ideas employed by his successor and all future presidents.
Martin Van Buren by Ted Widmer; Arthur M. Schlesinger (Contribution by)The first president born after America's independence ushers in a new era of no-holds-barred democracy The first "professional politician" to become president, the slick and dandyish Martin Van Buren was to all appearances the opposite of his predecessor, the rugged general and Democratic champion Andrew Jackson. Van Buren, a native Dutch speaker, was America's first ethnic president as well as the first New Yorker to hold the office, at a time when Manhattan was bursting with new arrivals. A sharp and adroit political operator, he established himself as a powerhouse in New York, becoming a U.S. senator, secretary of state, and vice president under Jackson, whose election he managed. His ascendancy to the Oval Office was virtually a foregone conclusion. Once he had the reins of power, however, Van Buren found the road quite a bit rougher. His attempts to find a middle ground on the most pressing issues of his day-such as the growing regional conflict over slavery-eroded his effectiveness. But it was his inability to prevent the great banking panic of 1837, and the ensuing depression, that all but ensured his fall from grace and made him the third president to be denied a second term. His many years of outfoxing his opponents finally caught up with him. Ted Widmer, a veteran of the Clinton White House, vividly brings to life the chaos and contention that plagued Van Buren's presidency-and ultimately offered an early lesson in the power of democracy.
Power and Prudence by Mark J. Rozell; Ryan J. BarilleauxWhen George H. W. Bush took office in January 1989, he brought to the presidency an impressive resume. A former member of Congress, national party leader, CIA director, ambassador to China, and two-term vice president, he had the credentials and experience for a uniquely successful presidency. Less than four years later, the American electorate resoundingly proclaimed his administration a failure. Many pundits and scholars have echoed the voters’ judgement. In a considered and balanced reassessment, Mark J. Rozell and Ryan J. Barilleaux ask whether the public and the pundits have applied the wrong criteria of presidential evaluation. Looking at the context in which Bush came into office, Rozell and Barilleaux argue that his strategy of incrementalism may indeed have been right for the times and the failure may have lain only in Bush’s inability to convince the public of that. Moreover, the authors disagree with the common wisdom that Bush pursued incrementalism only in domestic policy, arguing that it characterized his foreign policy as well. Power and Prudence is a study in presidential evaluation. It represents a challenge to the conventional wisdom that has developed on the first Bush administration and presents an important reinterpretation of the leadership of a poorly-understood president. This thought-provoking analysis suggests that due to the circumstances of his presidency Bush may not have been in any position to articulate or achieve far-reaching policy objectives. These circumstances included the lack of an electoral mandate, Bush’s succession to a very popular and ideological leader, his inheritance of a daunting budget deficit, and the situation of divided government. Interviews with members of Bush’s White House staff and recourse to the limited archival record thus far opened to scholars inform the authors’ interpretation of the Bush administration. A fascinating read into the workings of a contemporary presidency, Power and Prudence will appeal to presidential scholars as well as the politically-minded reader.
Call Number: E881 .R686 2004, Main
The Presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore by Elbert B. SmithIn this book Elbert B. Smith disagrees sharply with traditional interpretations of Taylor and Fillmore, the twelfth and thirteenth presidents (from 1848 to 1853). He argues persuasively that the slaveholding Taylor—and not John C. Calhoun—was the realistic defender of southern slaveholding interests, and that Taylor did nothing to impede the Compromise of 1850. While Taylor opposed the combination of the issues into a single compromise bill that could not be passed without amendments to suit the extremists, he would have approved the different parts of the Compromise that were ultimately passed as separate measures. Most historians have written that Taylor's death and Fillmore's accession led to an abrupt change in presidential policy, but Smith believes that continuity predominated. Taylor wanted the controversies debated and acted upon as separate bills. Fillmore helped to accomplish this. Taylor was ready to defend New Mexico against Texas. Fillmore ordered 750 additional troops to New Mexico and announced publicly that he would do the same. Taylor had wanted statehood for California and New Mexico with self-determination on slavery. As separate measures, the Congress admitted California and preserved a viable New Mexico as a territory authorized to make its own decision on slavery. With secessionists pitted against moderates in the southern elections of 1851, Fillmore had to choose between his constitutional oath and his personal antipathy to the new fugitive slave law. He supported the law and thereby helped keep southern moderates in power for a few more years. In fact, however, his efforts did not recapture a single slave. In Smith's view, Fillmore's most serious mistake was refusing in 1852 to get himself nominated for another term. Smith argues that Taylor and Fillmore have been seriously misrepresented and underrated. They faced a terrible national crisis and accepted every responsibility without flinching or directing blame toward anyone else.
Call Number: E421 S65 1988, Main
The Presidency of James Monroe by Noble E. CunninghamFilled with new insights and fresh interpretations, this is the richest study yet published on the presidency of James Monroe, the last Revolutionary War hero to ascend to that august office. Noble Cunningham's history of the fifth presidency (1817-25) shows a young nation beset by growing pains and led by a cautious politician who had neither the learning nor the intellect of Jefferson or Madison, but whose actions strengthened both the United States and the presidency itself. Cunningham makes clear that the mislabelled "era of good feelings" had more than its share of crises, including those resulting from revolutions in Latin America, Spanish possession of Florida, the depression of 1819, and the controversy over slavery in Missouri. Monroe, he shows, successfully defused these potentially explosive situations, most notably by negotiating the 1820 Missouri Compromise and announcing in 1823 what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, a document that still guides American policy in the western hemisphere. Cunningham effectively places these actions within the context of Monroe's life and times and sheds new light on the inner workings of his cabinet and his relations with Congress. In addition, he features the prominent roles of two future presidents: John Quincy Adams as secretary of state and Andrew Jackson as the controversial general whose actions in the Seminole War created a headache for the administration. Though substantially informed by previous scholarship, Cunningham writes largely from the abundant primary source materials of the era to provide an illuminating new look at a president and a nation on the brink of greatness.
Call Number: Main E 371 C86 1996
Presidents and Civil Liberties from Wilson to Obama by Samuel WalkerThis book is a history of the civil liberties records of American presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. It examines the full range of civil liberties issues: First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, press and assembly; due process; equal protection, including racial justice, women's rights, and lesbian and gay rights; privacy rights, including reproductive freedom; and national security issues. The book argues that presidents have not protected or advanced civil liberties, and that several have perpetrated some of the worst violations. Some Democratic presidents (Wilson and Roosevelt), moreover, have violated civil liberties as badly as some Republican presidents (Nixon and Bush). This is the first book to examine the full civil liberties records of each president (thus, placing a president's record on civil rights with his record on national security issues), and also to compare the performance on particular issues of all the presidents covered.
Call Number: Main KF5053 .W35 2012
The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs; Michael DuffyOver the years that followed-and to this day-the presidents relied on, misunderstood, sabotaged, and formed alliances with one another that changed history. The world's most exclusive fraternity is a complicated place: its members are bound forever because they sat in the Oval Office and know its secrets, yet they are immortal rivals for history's favor. Some presidents needed their predecessors to keep their secrets; others needed them to disappear. Truman enlisted Hoover to help him save Europe; Kennedy turned to Ike on Cuba; Nixon sought Johnson's advice on getting re-elected, but then tried to blackmail him; Ford and Carter couldn't stand each other until they saw what they had in common; Reagan and Clinton relied on Nixon as an emissary to Russia; Bush put Clinton and his father to work and they became like father and son; and Obama and Clinton became quiet rivals for the same crown.
The Republican Vision of John Tyler by Dan MonroePerhaps no other president has so often borne the epithet of imbecile as John Tyler, who was expelled from his own party by a rump Whig congressional caucus. The vicious political infighting that characterized his term may account for the low regard in which his presidency has been held by historians, who have generally ranked him as one of the least successful chief executives, despite achievements such as the Webster-Ashburton treaty, which heraided improved relations with Great Britain, and the annexation of Texas, which added millions of acres to the national domain. Why did John Tyler pursue what appears to have been a politically self-destructive course with regard to both his first party, the Democrats, and his later political alliance, the Whigs? Was it on the grounds of principle, as he asserted? And if so, what principles? Dan Monroe has set out to explain the beliefs that commanded such overwhelming fealty from Tyler that they led to his resigning his Senate seat and exercising politically suicidal presidential vetoes. Monroe traces the origins of Tyler's political philosophy in his early years in the Virginia legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives before ex
Call Number: Main E397 .M66 2003
Roosevelt the Reformer by Richard D. WhiteCovers a fascinating period of Theodore RooseveltOCOs life, his first six years in Washington. "Roosevelt the Reformer" sheds light on an important chapter in the biography of the flamboyant 26th president of the United States. From 1889 to 1895OCobefore he was a Rough Rider in the SpanishOCoAmerican War and before he oversaw the building of the Panama Canal and won the 1906 Nobel Peace PrizeOCoOC TeddyOCO Roosevelt served as one of three civil service commissioners. This was a significant period of his life because he matured politically and learned how to navigate through Washington politics. He sparred with powerful cabinet officers and congressmen and survived their attempts to destroy him. He cultivated important friendships and allegiances, flourished intellectually, and strengthened his progressive views of social justice, racial theory, and foreign relations. It was a period altogether significant to the honing of administrative talent and intellectual acuity of the future president. Richard White Jr. situates young Roosevelt within the exciting events of the Gilded Age, the Victorian era, and the gay nineties. He describes Roosevelt's relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and adversaries. Many of these people, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Cecil Spring-Rice, Alfred Mahan, Henry Adams, and John Hay would significantly influence Roosevelt when he later occupied the White House. White explores TR's accomplishments in civil service reform, the effect of the commission experience on his presidency a decade later, and his administrative legacy. In addition to Harvard UniversityOCOs immense collection of Roosevelt correspondence, White drew from original sources such as the Civil Service Commission files in the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Park Service Roosevelt Historical Site at Sagamore Hill, and the records of the National Civil Service Reform League. a"
Call Number: E757 .W575 2003, Main
Theodore Roosevelt by Louis Auchincloss; Arthur M. Schlesinger (Editor)An intimate portrait of the first president of the 20th century The American century opened with the election of that quintessentially American adventurer, Theodore Roosevelt. Louis Auchincloss's warm and knowing biography introduces us to the man behind the many myths of Theodore Roosevelt. From his early involvement in the politics of New York City and then New York State, we trace his celebrated military career and finally his ascent to the national political stage. Caricatured through history as the "bull moose," Roosevelt was in fact a man of extraordinary discipline whose refined and literate tastes actually helped spawn his fascination with the rough-and-ready worlds of war and wilderness. Bringing all his novelist's skills to the task, Auchincloss briskly recounts the significant contributions of Roosevelt's career and administration. This biography is as thorough as it is readable, as clear-eyed as it is touching and personal.
Call Number: E757 .A88 2002, Main
Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History by Hannah SpahnBeginning with the famous opening to the Declaration of Independence ("When in the course of human events..."), almost all of Thomas Jefferson’s writings include creative, stylistically and philosophically complex references to time and history. Although best known for his "forward-looking" statements envisioning future progress, Jefferson was in fact deeply concerned with the problem of coming to terms with the impending loss or fragmentation of the past. As Hannah Spahn shows in Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History, his efforts to promote an exceptionalist interpretation of the United States as the first nation to escape from the "crimes and calamities" of European history were complicated both by his doubts about the outcome of the American experiment and by his skepticism about the methods and morals of eighteenth-century philosophical history. Spahn approaches the conundrum of Jefferson: Janus-faced, equally forward- and backward-oriented thought by discussing it less as a matter of personal contradiction and paradox than as the expression of a late Newtonian Enlightenment, in a period between ancient and modern modes of explaining change in time.
Call Number: Main B885.Z7 S63 2011
Washington by Ron ChernowA gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical. Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.
William Howard Taft by Jonathan LurieIn this biographical study of the only American ever to have been both President and Chief Justice of the United States, Jonathan Lurie reassesses William Howard Taft's multiple careers, which culminated in Taft's election to the presidency in 1908 as the chosen successor to Theodore Roosevelt. By 1912, however, the relationship between Taft and Roosevelt had ruptured. Lurie re-examines the Taft-Roosevelt friendship and concludes that it rested on flimsy ground. He also places Taft in a progressive context, taking Taft's own self-description as 'a believer in progressive conservatism' as the starting point.
Call Number: Main E762 .L87 2012
Woodrow Wilson by H. W. Brands; Arthur M. Schlesinger (Editor)A comprehensive account of the rise and fall of one of the major shapers of American foreign policy On the eve of his inauguration as President, Woodrow Wilson commented, "It would be the irony of fate if my administration had to deal chiefly with foreign affairs." As America was drawn into the Great War in Europe, Wilson used his scholarship, his principles, and the political savvy of his advisers to overcome his ignorance of world affairs and lead the country out of isolationism. The product of his efforts—his vision of the United States as a nation uniquely suited for moral leadershipby virtue of its democratic tradition—is a view of foreign policy that is still in place today. Acclaimed historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist H. W. Brands offers a clear, well-informed, and timely account of Wilson's unusual route to the White House, his campaign against corporate interests, his struggles with rivals at home and allies abroad, and his decline in popularity and health following the rejection by Congress of his League of Nations. Wilson emerges as a fascinating man of great oratorical power, depth of thought, and purity of intention.