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This is an excellent short collection of Calvin Coolidge speeches delivered during his term as Governor of Massachusetts.
Calvin Coolidge seems to have either been overlooked by historians or dismissed as a mediocre President who was a mere tool of Big Business. As these speeches show, he was not a mediocrity nor was he anybody's pawn.
Coolidge was one of the last US Presidents to write all his speeches. These speeches show that he was an excellent writer. His ideas are put forth in blunt, succinct, logical and effective prose. These speeches could still stand as a conservative manifesto.
Coolidge is a President whose record needs to be seriously reevaluated. It is quite telling that Ronald Reagan made a point of replacing a portrait of Harry Truman in the White House Cabinet Room with a portrait of Calvin Coolidge.
These speeches show Coolidge as an Adam Smith liberal in economics and a Jeffersonian in his support of small government. His economic ideas were pure Adam Smith; governments should provide a environment in which business could flourish and thus enrich society as a whole. Coolidge wasn't laissez-faire; neither was Adam Smith, despite later commentators best efforts to present him as such. Both Smith and Coolidge were highly principled men and they expected business to be highly principled as well. Neither Adam Smith or Calvin Coolidge would have tolerated unethical business behaviour or abuse of workers.
Both Smith and Coolidge viewed government as having a responsibility to be frugal; for them, government prodigality and waste expended the national treasure and led to national impoverishment.Read more ›
It is always good to be able to go to the source, rather than read snippets of it in some second or third-hand reference. I was interested in reading more of Coolidge's actual words after reading Amity Shlaes' biography of Coolidge. This was a welcome find, especially since it was free. My only wish was that the speeches had a little bit more context given to them. Then again, Coolidge is only now becoming a more respected person of American History, so perhaps someday someone will give his speeches more careful attention.
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