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Uncle Joe Cannon: The Story of a Pioneer American As Told to L. White Busbey for 20 Years His Private Secretary Paperback – July 2, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1417926350 ISBN-10: 141792635X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Pub Co (July 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141792635X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1417926350
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,615,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey C. Reynolds on June 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to former Speaker of the House "Uncle Joe" Cannon when I read Judith Icke's biography on William Howard Taft. The book mentions that some of the progressives in the Republican Party tried to unseat Cannon as Speaker, and Taft did not take sides, which resulted in Cannon staying in his position until the Republicans lost control in 1910. It also had two quotes of Cannon, one of which I thought was hilarious: "If Taft was pope, he'd want to appoint some Protestants to the college of cardinals." That sounds like an interesting person.

My next presidential biography was of William McKinley, by Kevin Phillips. Phillips gave another "Uncle Joe" quote, this time about McKinley, that he "has his ear so close to the ground, it's full of grasshoppers." With that, I was interested in learning more about Cannon.

Since then, I've read about the administrations of Hayes and Garfield. "Uncle Joe" was a congressman through the terms of all the presidents I read about: he started when Grant was president, and he served while Woodrow Wilson was the chief executive. (He mentioned Harding and Coolidge being president as well.)

This is not really an autobiography. Yes, this is in the first person, with Uncle Joe describing his life, but it is actually more like an uncle (comparison deliberate) telling his nephews and nieces stories, which in a case it is: the book was written by L. White Busbey, Cannon's secretary, from recollections of Cannon. In the introduction, which is in Busbey's own words, he accounts reading back a portion of the book to Cannon, which he did not approve of, because it put too much emphasis on him (Cannon); Busbey pointed out that the people wanted to hear Cannon's own views.
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