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Benjamin Harrison: The American Presidents Series: The 23rd President, 1889-1893 Hardcover – May 12, 2005
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About the Author
Charles W. Calhoun is a professor of history at East Carolina University. A former National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, Calhoun is the author or editor of four books, including The Gilded Age, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. He lives in Greenville, North Carolina.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the third of the American Presidents series I have read and I think that these books serve better in telling the stories of the more obscure presidents. The brief length of the Harrison book (as well as the ones I've read about Arthur and Harding) give just enough overview regarding these men. They are nice "starter" books, which might, one would hope, prompt the reader to seek out deeper accounts of the lives of these presidents. That said, Calhoun's book offers a good flow of information. Harrison is usually rated in the middle of the presidential mix, and Calhoun creates no impression that Harrison should be moved up or down. He was a solid, if stoic president with some notable legislative accomplishments. While never rising to the stature that a more forceful president might have, Harrison nonetheless fought for rights of blacks to vote and was keen on providing a pension for Union veterans of the Civil War. It was fascinating to read that Frederick Douglass said of Harrison, "to my mind, we never had a greater president". That's certainly high praise coming from one of the leading abolitionists of the nineteenth century and a man who knew Abraham Lincoln personally. Harrison had a few challenges abroad, but his four years were generally quiet as the country saw the passage of such landmark legislation as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.Read more ›
For a short study, Calhoun's book offers a detailed consideration of Harrison and his presidency. In contrast to the usual portrayal of Gilded Age presidents, Calhoun sees Harrison as an activist who sought to expand Federal power and to reach out directly to the electorate in support of his policies. As Calhoun puts it, Harrison "harbored a philosophy of government that emphasized possibilities more than restraints." Harrison put the matter succinctly himself, during his unsuccessful campaign for reelection. Speaking in Galveston, Texas, Harrison described the Federally financed harbor in the city as an example of the "work which a liberal and united Government could do." Harrison continued, "This ministering care should extend to our whole country. We are great enough and rich enough to reach forward to grander conceptions than have entered the minds of some of our statesmen in the past.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An intriguing man who finished the job his Grandfather came to do.Published 2 months ago by Richard Folsom
A great story about a great President who many are not even familiar with. Should have served two terms.Published 7 months ago by Native Southern Californian
Very interesting to learn the issues this president was involved in. A very principal man.Published 10 months ago by Jerry Osborne
Benjamin Harrison's one term in office presents a singular fact of presidential minutiae: he is the only president to defeat an incumbent (Grover Cleveland in 1888) only to turn... Read morePublished 11 months ago by MBJ
Nice summary of a president who accomplished quite a bit more than he is remembered for. For those who don't want to read a 500 page blockbuster of a biography, but who do want to... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Stephen
Well written account of the President. A lot of historical insight.Published 11 months ago by Cheryl J. Osborne
well written account of a president not much considered today. He may have helped usher in the modern presidencyPublished 21 months ago by Lester J. Appel