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The Harding Era: Warren G. Harding and His Administration (Signature Series) 1st Edition
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I agree with the author's conclusions that Harding accomplished a great deal during his short tenure in office. And would have gone on to become a very good President had he lived. Though I also agree that he probably should not have been president, given the fact that he often spoke of his limitations. The author points out that the very qualities that made Harding so attractive was also the qualities that led to his downfall. Harding was a good, kind, sweet and sincere man-but he was loyal to a fault.Read more ›
I read this book in my continued pursuit to read a biography of every President. This is definitely the book to read on Harding. It exposes the man's warts but doesn't accuse him in an unwarranted fashion which from my understanding some other Harding biographers have.
This book is not for the faint of heart or the reader looking for a breezy account of a President they don't know a lot about. This book is for the serious historian that wants to get into the nitty gritty of the post-Wilson era. I am a pretty patient reader and even I got a little overwhelmed at times with 40 page chapters about labor negoatiations and the like.
Murray does give the scandal that ultimately brought down the Harding administration its fair share of coverage. He also does a good job detailing Harding's unexpected and untimely death. His description of the scandals is very fair, almost to a fault. I'm not saying he is a Harding fan but there were a few times when I thought he gave Harding the benefit of the doubt in his personal conduct, especially where drinking and womanizing were considered.
I do think his take on the Teapot Dome affair is accurate and jives with other accounts I've read.
This is the book you should read on Harding, but be warned it drags in the middle but if you slog through to the scandals at the end it picks up again and all in all is a very enjoyable read.
· The myth of a smoke filled room does disservice to Harding, who through effective campaigning and a natural congeniality, was able to secure the 1920 nomination, and it does a disservice to the supposed power brokers, some of whom continued to vote against Harding until the end. Uncertain times and two bull-headed front-runners more than party bosses pulling the strings of a puppet Harding made a dark-horse Harding nomination possible.
· Harding was able to bring governmental spending under control by creating, under the executive branch, the office of the budget. As well, he championed and was able to accomplish the Washington Naval Conference, which set the stage for military size and ability following post World War One. His policies have been shown to be wanting, but in his day were seen as viable to an isolationist nation.
· The Teapot Dome scandal, which has historically been the Achilles heal of the Harding administration, is seen in the light of historical research: it was only in the papers for a brief time and Harding, by transferring control of governmental oil reserves from one cabinet secretary to another was simply following what was thought to be the good advice of his cabinet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The term of non sequitur, definition the conclusion could be either true or false, but the argument is fallacious because there is a disconnection between the premise and the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dan Short
This man has been rated as one of the least effective of all. After reading Murray's work, I feel this is truly an unfair rating. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Gerald Huffman
Robert Murray has created a well-researched, well-written book about an important era in American history and an administration that has largely been forgotten except for its... Read morePublished 20 months ago by RJM
I disagree with other reviewers of Murray's book on Harding. This is not a true biography of Warren G. Harding. Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by Paul N.
I enjoyed this part of history you seldom read about.
I got the feeling, as I did with Chester A Arthur's bio that a lot of information was left to the mystery of... Read more
This is an outstanding read on a President that should not be ranked as low as he is among historians (I would have to rank Buchanan, Pierce and Carter and perhaps Clinton)lower... Read morePublished on August 6, 2008 by D. Coffman