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Customer Review

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, well-written...but a little too biased..., October 2, 2000
This review is from: John Tyler : Champion of the Old South
This is part of my personal project of reading a biography on each of our presidents. The book got high marks from me because it taught me a lot about a president---and man---about whom little is known. One also learns by association a lot about Clay, Calhoun and Webster. Even considering that it was written in the 30's, it still reads very well and it also benefits from having at least one of the president's surviving children as one of the main sources of information and interpretation.
Where the book falls short for me is in its bias toward the subject. Most of the other biographies I have read have some kind of bias toward their subject; that may be inevitable. But I thought this one had a little more than I thought was adequate. Clearly, Tyler was a likable and principled man and politics then were possibly uglier than they are now, but I think that he had more to do with his own political misfortunes than the author claims.
Still, despite my three-star rating, I thought this is a must-read for aficionados interested in this particular president. If you're interested in the period leading to the Civil War, I can think of many other books and biographies that may provide a better account.
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