More featuring presidents of the United States

Here, from James Tobin, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography, is the story of the greatest comeback in American political history, a saga long buried in half-truth, distortion, and myth—Franklin Roosevelt’s ten-year climb from paralysis to the White House.

In 1921, at the age of thirty-nine, Roosevelt was the brightest young star in the Democratic Party. One day he was racing his children around their summer home. Two days later he could not stand up. Hopes of a quick recovery faded fast. “He’s through,” said allies and enemies alike. Even his family and close friends misjudged their man, as they and the nation would learn in time.

With a painstaking reexamination of original documents, James Tobin uncovers the twisted chain of accidents that left FDR paralyzed; he reveals how polio recast Roosevelt’s fateful partnership with his wife, Eleanor; and he shows that FDR’s true victory was not over paralysis but over the ancient stigma attached to the disabled. Tobin also explodes the conventional wisdom of recent years—that FDR deceived the public about his condition. In fact, Roosevelt and his chief aide, Louis Howe, understood that only by displaying himself as a man who had come back from a knockout punch could FDR erase the perception that had followed him from childhood—that he was a pampered, too smooth pretty boy without the strength to lead the nation. As Tobin persuasively argues, FDR became president less in spite of polio than because of polio.

The Man He Became affirms that true character emerges only in crisis and that in the shaping of this great American leader character was all.
Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky in 1809, moved with his parents, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln, and his older sister, Sarah, to the Pigeon Creek area of southern Indiana in 1816. There Lincoln spent more than a quarter of his life. It was in Indiana that he developed a complicated and often troubled relationship with his father, exhibited his now-famous penchant for self-education, and formed a restless ambition to rise above his origins. Although some questions about these years are unanswerable due to a scarcity of reliable sources, Brian R. Dirck’s fascinating account of Lincoln’s boyhood sets what is known about the relationships, values, and environment that fundamentally shaped Lincoln’s character within the context of frontier and farm life in early nineteenth-century midwestern America.

Lincoln in Indiana tells the story of Lincoln’s life in Indiana, from his family’s arrival to their departure. Dirck explains the Lincoln family’s ancestry and how they and their relatives came to settle near Pigeon Creek. He shows how frontier families like the Lincolns created complex farms out of wooded areas, fashioned rough livelihoods, and developed tight-knit communities in the unforgiving Indiana wilderness. With evocative prose, he describes the youthful Lincoln’s relationship with members of his immediate and extended family. Dirck illuminates Thomas Lincoln by setting him into his era, revealing the concept of frontier manhood, and showing the increasingly strained relationship between father and son. He illustrates how pioneer women faced difficulties as he explores Nancy Lincoln’s work and her death from milk sickness; how Lincoln’s stepmother, Sarah Bush, fit into the family; and how Lincoln’s sister died in childbirth. Dirck examines Abraham’s education and reading habits, showing how a farming community could see him as lazy for preferring book learning over farmwork. While explaining how he was both similar to and different from his peers, Dirck includes stories of Lincoln’s occasional rash behavior toward those who offended him. As Lincoln grew up, his ambitions led him away from the family farm, and Dirck tells how Lincoln chafed at his father’s restrictions, why the Lincolns decided to leave Indiana in 1830, and how Lincoln eventually broke away from his family.

In a triumph of research, Dirck cuts through the myths about Lincoln’s early life, and along the way he explores the social, cultural, and economic issues of early nineteenth-century Indiana. The result is a realistic portrait of the youthful Lincoln set against the backdrop of American frontier culture.
In modern times, some critics have belittled Abraham Lincoln's antislavery resolve as shallow. Some have portrayed him as a passive president, waiting upon the bold initiatives of others. 'Citizen Lincoln' regards him differently. First, it portrays Lincoln's animus against slavery as rooted in the highest ideals of the American Revolution, which he saw as being corrupted in his own time. Second, it analyses Lincoln's supposed 'passivity' as more aptly defined as wise caution. Lincoln learned as a legislator, first in Illinois and later in the United States Congress, that bold initiatives often backfire and fail to fulfil original intentions. In the state legislature, Lincoln supported a dramatic internal-improvements project that collapsed in the midst of a national depression. Lincoln also boldly opposed the Mexican War in Congress, only to see his cause evaporate as soon as a peace treaty was drafted with Mexico. In both instances, his timing was faulty. He had rushed into taking rigid policy positions when greater caution would have reaped better results. But in both instances, he learned lessons that would hold him in good stead later. Lincoln as president was wisely cautious, knowing that bold action could only disrupt the delicate coalition that kept the Union cause moving forward to victory. Harriet Beecher Stowe described Lincoln's unique strength as "swaying to every influence, yielding on this side and on that to popular needs, yet tenaciously and inflexibly bound to carry its great end". She wisely added that no other kind of strength could have seen the nation through the worst trial in its history. In filling this role, Abraham Lincoln fulfilled that which he had long regarded as his personal mission within the larger context of his nation's providential destiny.
"The Provincial traces Calvin Coolidge's life from his thirteenth birthday until his graduation from Amherst College ten years later. It is a story of a shy young man from the country who gradually acquires an education and goes on to higher and higher levels of learning, but in Coolidge's case that progress was very much against his will. He grew up in the remote farming hamlet of Plymouth Notch, Vermont, eleven miles from the nearest railroad; his stern, thrifty father made money selling insurance and maple sugar, holding local offices, and renting property. Coolidge looked forward to someday keeping the general store his father owned, only a hundred feet from his house, and passing his life in this isolated, close-knit community, among people he knew and liked. This book shows how his intelligence, his love of reading, and his father's ambitions for him pushed him unwillingly farther and farther away. First he was sent to the local academy, eleven miles away, to study Latin and Greek. Then, on the enthusiastic recommendation of his high school principal, he went on to Amherst College in Massachusetts. On his first attempt to enter he became physically sick and had to return home. The following year he tried again, and this time he stayed, but he was desperately unhappy the first two years and asked his father in vain to be allowed to come home." "In the end, however, Amherst turned out to be a success story for him. Overlooked for the first two years by the sleek metropolitan young men who set the tone for the student body, shut out of fraternities and social life because of his shyness and country ways, he finally impressed his classmates with his dry sarcasm in debate, his ready wit, his unshakable poise and self-control. At the same time, he himself was changed and broadened. Under the influence of great Amherst professors like Charles E. Garman and Anson D. Morse, he became sure of himself and well read in history, philosophy, and political science. Even so, as he graduated to the acclaim of his classmates, he still yearned to go home to Plymouth Notch and settle there. The Provincial ends with Coolidge's graduation; a brief afterword explains how he took up law and local politics to please his father, and how hard work and intelligence led him to the Presidency."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Just 24 hours after former President James Buchanan died on June 1, 1868, the Chicago Tribune rejoiced: This desolate old man has gone to his grave. No son or daughter is doomed to acknowledge an ancestry from him.

Nearly a century and a half later, in 2004, writer Christopher Buckley observed It is probably just as well that James Buchanan was our only bachelor president. There are no descendants bracing every morning on opening the paper to find another heading announcing: Buchanan Once Again Rated Worst President in History.

How to explain such remarkably consistent historical views of the man who turned over a divided and demoralized country to Abraham Lincoln, the same man regarded through the decades by presidential scholars as the worst president in U.S. history?

In this exploration of the presidency of James Buchanan, 1857-61, Garry Boulard revisits the 15th President and comes away with a stunning conclusion: Buchanans performance as the nations chief executive was even more deplorable and sordid than scholars generally know, making his status as the countrys worst president richly deserved.

Boulard documents Buchanans failure to stand up to the slaveholding interests of the South, his indecisiveness in dealing with the secession movement, and his inability to provide leadership during the nations gravest constitutional crisis.

Using the letters of Buchanan, as well as those of more than two dozen political leaders and thinkers of the time, Boulard presents a narrative of a timid and vacillating president whose drift and isolation opened the door to the Civil War.

The author of The Expatriation of Franklin Pierce: The Story of a President and the Civil War (iUniverse, 2006), Boulard has reported for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and is a business writer for the Albuquerque-based Construction Reporter.

As William Nester asserts in The Age of Jackson, it takes quite a leader to personify an age. A political titan for thirty-three years (1815-1848), Andrew Jackson possessed character, beliefs, and acts that dominated American politics. Although Jackson returned to his Tennessee plantation in March 1837 after serving eight years as president, he continued to overshadow American politics. Two of his proteges, Martin "the Magician" van Buren and James "Young Hickory" Polk, followed him to the White House and pursued his agenda.

Jackson provoked firestorms of political passions throughout his era. Far more people loved than hated him, but the fervor was just as pitched either way. Although the passions have subsided, the debate lingers. Historians are split over Jackson's legacy. Some extol him as among America's greatest presidents, citing his championing of the common man, holding the country together during the nullification crisis, and eliminating the national debt. Others excoriate him as a mean-spirited despot who shredded the Constitution and damaged the nation's development by destroying the Second Bank of the United States, defying the Supreme Court, and grossly worsening political corruption through his spoils system. Still others condemn his forcibly expelling more than forty thousand Native Americans from their homes and along the Trail of Tears, which led far west of the Mississippi River, with thousands perishing along the way.

In his clear-eyed assessment of one of the most divisive leaders in American history, Nester provides new insight into the age-old debate about the very nature of power itself.

A Great and Good Man presents a lively collection of contemporary letters, poems, addresses, and newspaper reports that demonstrate the remarkable esteem in which Washington was held. Washington would become, after his death, a true symbol of the American republic. This selection of materials, many reprinted for the first time since the eighteenth century, shows that in his life Washington had already become the Father of his country and was acclaimed for his sense of honor, his heroism, and his wisdom.

Dating from his farewell orders to the Continental Army in 1783 to his retirement from the executive office of the United States of America, the selections in this book illuminate the role that Washington played in the public imagination. His willing relinquishment of military authority in 1783 shocked the world, and set him on a path toward greater political glory as he presided over the Constitutional Convention and then became the first President of the country. Here we see Washington as he stood before and was addressed by the nation—praised by politicians, advised by foreigners, and lionized by citizens. In Washington's own letters and addresses we also glimpse the canny side of Washington, a man who was careful with his public image and was a shrewd gamesman in the political arena. By the time he took presidential office in 1789 few questioned his political acumen and national leaders were dependent on his leadership.

The editors of A Great and Good Man have set the context for their carefully selected documents with insightful introductions; and their thorough index greatly enhances the accessibility of the material presented.
WHAT MADE RONALD REAGAN TICK? What was the secret to his greatness, the source of his influence, the key to his character, the strength behind his leadership?

And why does it matter to the nation today?

Just the mention of his name still evokes deep admiration and affection among Americans of every stripe, on both sides of the aisle. Many have previously sought to capture the essence of this very public figure often called "mysterious and unknowable." But now, as James Rosebush tells Reagan's story from first-hand experience in TRUE REAGAN, we come closer to understanding the heart of this great American.

In his roles as the longest-serving Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan and Deputy Assistant to President Reagan (his point man on philanthropy and public/private partnerships), James Rosebush had unrivaled one-on-one access to Reagan, observing his personality, his decision-making, his guarded nature. Rosebush's revelations are moving and meant to inspire us to look to our 40th President for guidance now as we face the global challenges of a complicated 21st century.

Ronald Reagan was first and foremost an intensely private person, although the life he led placed him at the center of people's attention from his earliest years. Small-town boy and college athlete, sportscaster and lifelong sports fan, actor and movie star, union leader and TV spokesman, Democrat and Republican, governor and president: what an incredible and extraordinary path. Rosebush tells how his center core was formed by his mother, who devoted herself to helping others even as the Reagans struggled themselves. The spiritual foundation she instilled in him by teaching him the Bible governed his thoughts, beliefs and actions all his life.

In a very real sense, his upbringing destined Reagan to become a global evangelist for American Exceptionalism - but importantly, as Rosebush learned first-hand, that did not mean Reagan thought Americans themselves were superior, as today's pundits and politicians often preach. Rather, Reagan believed that the ideals of America's founding were superior, enabling all Americans to live lives based on high ideals and spiritual principles, and thus achieve unparalleled success. Reagan was uniquely able to lead from true conviction and strength, his confidence stemming from an unshakeable fundamental belief system.

Better understanding the essence of this inspiring and principled leader is critical to our future. Journey back with Rosebush through the innumerable examples he recounts from first-hand observation and marvel once again at TRUE REAGAN.


The Living Lincoln gives new voice to several aspects of Abraham Lincoln's career as seen through the lens of recent scholarship, in essays that show how the sixteenth president's appeal continues to endure and expand. Featuring eleven essays from major historians, the book offers thoughtful, provocative, and highly original examinations of Lincoln's role as commander-in-chief, his use of the press to shape public opinion, his position as a politician and party leader, and the changing interpretations of his legacy as a result of cultural and social changes over the century and a half since his death.

In an opening section focusing largely on Lincoln's formative years, insightful explorations into his early self-education and the era before his presidency come from editors Frank J. Williams and Harold Holzer, respectively. Readers will also glimpse a Lincoln rarely discerned in books: calculating politician, revealed in Matthew Pinsker's illuminating essay, and shrewd military strategist, as demonstrated by Craig L. Symonds. Stimulating discussions from Edna Greene Medford, John Stauffer, and Michael Vorenberg tell of Lincoln's friendship with Frederick Douglass, his gradualism on abolition, and his evolving thoughts on race and the Constitution to round out part two. Part three features reflections on his martyrdom and memory, including a counterfactual history from Gerald J. Prokopowicz that imagines a hypothetical second term for the president, emphasizing the differences between Lincoln and his successor, Andrew Johnson. Barry Schwartz's contribution presents original research that yields fresh insight into Lincoln's evolving legacy in the South, while Richard Wightman Fox dissects Lincoln's 1865 visit to Richmond, and Orville Vernon Burton surveys and analyzes recent Lincoln scholarship.

This thought-provoking new anthology, introduced at a major bicentennial symposium at Harvard University, offers a wide range of ideas and interpretations by some of the best-known and most widely respected historians of our time. The Living Lincoln is essential reading for those seeking a better understanding of this nation's greatest president and how his actions resonate today.
Lincoln Prize winner William C. Harris turns to the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life in an attempt to penetrate this central figure of the Civil War, and arguably America's greatest president. Beginning with the presidential campaign of 1864 and ending with his shocking assassination, Lincoln's ability to master the daunting affairs of state during the final nine months of his life proved critical to his apotheosis as savior and saint of the nation.

In the fall of 1864, an exhausted president pursued the seemingly intractable end of the Civil War. After four years at the helm, Lincoln was struggling to save his presidency in an election that he almost lost because of military stalemate and his commitment to restore the Union without slavery. Lincoln's victory in the election not only ensured the success of his agenda but led to his transformation from a cautious, often hesitant president into a distinguished statesman. He moved quickly to defuse destructive partisan divisions and to secure the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. And he skillfully advanced peace terms that did not involve the unconditional surrender of Confederate armies. Throughout this period of great trials, he managed to resist political pressure from Democrats and radical Republicans and from those seeking patronage and profit. By expanding the context of Lincoln's last months beyond the battlefield, Harris shows how the events of 1864-65 tested the president's life and leadership and how he ultimately emerged victorious, and became Father Abraham to a nation.



Table of Contents:

Illustrations

Introduction
1. Re-election
2. Careworn and Haggard
3. The Burden of Patronage
4. The Search for Peace
5. The Humble Instrument of God
6. Beyond the Battlefield
7. At the Front
8. Martyrdom

Abbreviations
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index



Reviews of this book:
Harris provides detail that has been paraphrased or neglected by other biographers...In even-tempered, observant prove, [he] ably organizes his facts into a presentation that even veteran Lincoln readers will appreciate as fresh.
--Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

This is a first-rate monograph for which Harris has done diligent spadework. This Lincoln isn't the sentimentalized or melancholy saint or savior, but a proficient, inventive, even cheerful administrator, dealing with diplomatic detail (chiefly with the British over Canada), naval technology and patronage squabbles in such key states as New York. Harris also provides a fresh retelling of the story of Lincoln's murder and martyrdom.
--Edwin M. Yoder Jr., Washington Post Book World

Lincoln Prize winner William C. Harris turns to the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life in an attempt to penetrate this central figure of the Civil War, and arguably America's greatest president. Beginning with the presidential campaign of 1864 and ending with his shocking assassination, Lincoln's ability to master the daunting affairs of state during the final nine months of his life proved critical to his apotheosis as savior and saint of the nation. In the fall of 1864, an exhausted president pursued the seemingly intractable end of the Civil War. After four years at the helm, Lincoln was struggling to save his presidency in an election that he almost lost because of military stalemate and his commitment to restore the Union without slavery. Lincoln's victory in the election not only ensured the success of his agenda but led to his transformation from a cautious, often hesitant president into a distinguished statesman. He moved quickly to defuse destructive partisan divisions and to secure the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. And he skillfully advanced peace terms that did not involve the unconditional surrender of Confederate armies. Throughout this period of great trials, he managed to resist political pressure from Democrats and radical Republicans and from those seeking patronage and profit. By expanding the context of Lincoln's last months beyond the battlefield, Harris shows how the events of 1864-65 tested the president's life and leadership and how he ultimately emerged victorious, and became Father Abraham to a nation.

Though the reader knows exactly what will happen to Abraham Lincoln on Good Friday, 1865, William C. Harris brings nail-biting tension, along with heartbreaking pathos and insightful historical analysis, to the story of Lincoln's final days. This is masterful story-telling and gripping history.
--Harold Holzer, Co-chairman, US Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Just as his prize-winning book on Lincoln and Reconstruction revised our understanding of that subject, here William C. Harris finds much that is fresh, insightful, and important to say about the last months of Lincoln's life. Students of Lincoln and the Civil War will want this book on their shelves.
--Michael Holt, author of Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

There are few neglected subjects in the field of Lincolniana, but Professor Harris has found one--the last five months of Abraham Lincoln's life. He offers readers a thoroughly researched and fair-minded historical evaluation of the beginning of Lincoln's second presidential term, restoring a sense of indeterminacy to a surprisingly revealing period that has too often been sacrificed to the dramas of Appomattox and assassination.
--Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America

Lincoln's Last Months shows in clear and fascinating detail how the embattled Civil War president was able, in the final six months of his life, to contend with a seemingly overwhelming array of military and political problems.
--Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College

Harris's important and revealing study shows that during these last months the President exhibited his greatest mastery, both as a political leader and a military strategist. This fine book is admirable for the depth of its research and for the judiciousness of its interpretations. It is one of the half-dozen books on Lincoln published in the last decade that must be read by every student of the American Civil War.
--David Herbert Donald, Charles Warren Professor of American History Emeritus, Harvard University
The presidency of Lyndon Johnson was a pivotal moment in twentieth-century American history. From the decisive social programs of the Great Society, to the triumph of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, to the catastrophe of the Vietnam War and domestic unrest, it was an era of dramatic accomplishment and wrenching tragedy. In Guns or Butter, renowned historian Irving Bernstein brings those five climactic years of the sixties vividly to life, from the moment Lee Harvey Oswald aimed a rifle from the window of the Texas School Depository to the tense ballot-counting that put Richard Nixon in the White House in 1968. Bernstein's book is a narrative masterpiece, filled with sharply drawn character sketches and swiftly moving accounts of events that range from deals cut in the Senate cloakroom, to police charging after protesters on the streets of Selma, to Vietcong commandos bursting into the American embassy in Saigon. We see Johnson ordering aides Bill Moyers and Richard Goodwin to strip and join him for a skinny-dip in the White House pool, where they formulate the Great Society. And we see a tired, distracted president pacing in his bathrobe around a table model of the besieged Khe Sanh garrison, examining aerial photographs and casualty reports. Equally important, Bernstein offers a deft assessment of Johnson's successes and failures, from his legislative programs to his futile pursuit of the war in Vietnam to his failure to boost Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign in 1968. The author not only retells the maneuvering that brought the president's plans into law, he also analyzes and explains their impact, from the Voting Rights Act to Medicare. The Great Society, Bernstein concludes, was a triumph, but Johnson's attempt to have both guns and butter, to pursue massive domestic initiatives together with a bitter undeclared war, led to runaway inflation that ultimately undermined his presidency. From the dark moments after Kennedy's assassination in 1963, to the heady days of legislative victories of 1965, to the bloody crescendo of riots, assassinations, and military battles in 1968, Johnson's administration was a defining moment in modern American history. In Guns or Butter, Irving Bernstein brilliantly captures both the events and the meaning of those momentous years. Aside from its historical value, this book has major current significance. The legislative program Newt Gingrich and his Republican colleagues introduced in 1995 was designed to repeal the Great Society. Before doing so, members of Congress and the interested public should understand Lyndon Johnson's vision and the legislation that was enacted during the sixties. Guns or Butter provides that critical information.
Who was the "real" Thomas Jefferson? If this question has an answer, it will probably not be revealed reading the many accounts of his life. For two centuries biographers have provided divergent perspectives on him as a man and conflicting appraisals of his accomplishments. Jefferson was controversial in his own time, and his propensity to polarize continued in the years after his death as biographers battled to control the commanding heights of history. To judge from their depictions, there existed many different Thomas Jeffersons.

The essays in this book explore how individual biographers have shaped history—as well as how the interests and preoccupations of the times in which they wrote helped to shape their portrayals of Jefferson. In different eras biographers presented the third president variously as a proponent of individual rights or of majority rule, as a unifier or a fierce partisan, and as a champion of either American nationalism or cosmopolitanism. Conscripted to serve Whigs and Democrats, abolitionists and slaveholders, unionists and secessionists, Populists and Progressives, and seemingly every side of almost every subsequent struggle, the only constant was that Jefferson’s image remained a mirror of Americans’ self-conscious conceptions of their nation’s virtues, values, and vices. Thomas Jefferson’s Lives brings together leading scholars of Jefferson and his era, all of whom embrace the challenge to assess some of the most important and enduring accounts of Jefferson’s life.

Contributors:Jon Meacham, presidential historian * Barbara Oberg, Princeton University * J. Jefferson Looney, Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello * Christine Coalwell McDonald, Westchester Community College * Robert M.S. McDonald, United States Military Academy * Andrew Burstein, Louisiana State University * Jan Ellen Lewis, Rutgers University * Richard Samuelson, California State University, San Bernardino * Nancy Isenberg, Louisiana State University * Joanne B. Freeman, Yale University * Brian Steele, University of Alabama at Birmingham * Herbert Sloan, Barnard College * R. B. Bernstein, City College of New York * Francis D. Cogliano, University of Edinburgh * Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University * Gordon S. Wood, Brown University

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.