Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's just okay.
on June 19, 2014
The first part of the biography was good and kept my interest. Mid-way thru the book, I thought the author became repetitive and gave very burdensome details about the tariff issue and the Philippines. Obviously they were important issues during the McKinley administration and campaigns, but the author spent so much of the book on those issues that he failed to really delve into the Spanish-American war in any detail at all by comparison. I did enjoy learning more about McKinley's personality and that of his wife, Ida from the author's research. In the end, I found the assassination poorly covered by the book, almost overlooked. You'll not learn anything about the assassination from this book except that an anarchist shot him at Buffalo and he lingered and died. The last chapter and the Epilogue were very anti-climatic and no further mention of the assassin, Hanna, Hay or other important figures was made. One could argue that the book is not about these other figures, but the author spent much time on Hanna & Hay only to leave you wondering what happened to them after McKinley. The author was almost too free in his praise for McKinley and too negative on Hanna & Roosevelt. The flattery of McKinley bordered on eulogizing rather than totally factual.