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In the Days of McKinley Hardcover – November 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0945707240 ISBN-10: 094570724X

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 686 pages
  • Publisher: American Political Biography Press (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094570724X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945707240
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on February 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The title of "In The Days Of McKinley" is very descriptive. Although it contains much biographical material, it is not a true biography. It does tell much about the stage on which William McKinley played.

McKinley rose to national prominence by becoming an expert on the tariff. In congress he was known as the technical master of customs duties. How he used this expertise to propel himself to the post of Governor of Ohio is a puzzlement, but it does reflect the immense importance of tariff policy in an era when elections were fought over protection and when most federal revenue was derived from the tariff.

Much of the book tells the story of aspects of public life in which McKinley participated. A major portion of the book deals with the Spanish American War. Here one sees McKinley among those presidents whose administrations were transformed by events from a domestic focus into one dominated by martial exploits. I have studied much about the Spanish American War (see my Listmania, "Remember The Maine, To Hell With Spain" and my Amazon Reviews, A Ship To Remember, Colonel Roosevelt, The Rough Riders, An Army For Empire and Little Brown Brothers) but this book provides a unique perspective on the war. Here the focus is on the role of the president in the decision to go to war and its subsequent prosecution. On these pages we see the veteran who had learned to hate war being drawn into a war despite all of his efforts to avoid it. In some parts the narration of the war almost makes the reader forget that McKinley was involved. Even so, it places some aspects of the war, such as the exploits of the Rough Riders, into a perspective of the greater conflict which is lacking in some works.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Carlson on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Less than 50 pages are dedicated to Mckinley's childhood, schooling, Civil War days, and his rise in Ohio from a struggling attorney to a Congressman then state gov. The remaining 550 pages deal with the detailed issues of his presidency and some portions (such as several long chapters about Cuba & the Philippines) do not even mention him. Fortunately, his presidency with the various wars, his wife's condition, thru his assination makes this detailed account worthwhile. However, if you are like me & find the struggles of the person before the presidency (especially those with war experience) interesting, you will be somewhat dissappointed in the lack of info. here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd Carlsen on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book won the Pulitzer Prize. In the Days of McKinley is the best book about William McKinley and his times. You get a great sense of America that emerged from a frontier country and colonies into an industrial power during his Congressional years and then entered the world stage in foreign policy during his presidency. McKinley was a pro-business and pro-tariff northern Republican. His election campaign against William Jennings Bryant was famous. He was assassinated. The writing is excellent, and the book captures the people, McKinley and the times marvelously. McKinley moved along with the issues of the day and was a pro-business Republican, but he was more moderate in his actions than some would have you believe. He executed the Spanish American War but was not enthusiastic about it. He began early anti-trust actions. He made the mistake of sponsoring sharply higher tariffs in Congress -- key word is sharply -- that led to a Depression, but as president learned from that and was moderate and steady with tariffs. (Key lesson: moderate and steady tariffs seemed to be successful for a long time but not tariffs suddenly raised sharply higher.)

It's all here: the Spanish American War, the tariffs, the Depression of 1893, industrialization, etc. If you are reading through the presidents, interested in McKinley, or interested in the particular issues of that day, such as the Spanish American War, then this enjoyable history of McKinley and his era is for you. Highly recommended!

I have read many books about American presidents and American history. This is the book to read about William McKinley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Who, What, Where? VINE VOICE on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Leech does a great job of adding flesh to the historical memory of an overlooked President. McKinley. McKinley is an overlooked President because he was followed by the iconoclast TDR. Thus a work that provides insight into this President who as occupied the historical shadows is a welcomed treat. What Leech;s effort excels in is providing a look at McKinley as an individual. This is great because the other treatments of the man simply look at his record as a president. This book does not and shows how his personal experiences helped to determine the type of politician he would become, and why he was a successful politician. It is not overly scholarly in its approach however, which makes it more accessible for all audiences.
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