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1920: The Year of the Six Presidents Paperback – April 8, 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In many ways it was a time not unlike our own, but in many others so completely different that the America of 85 years ago seems barely recognizable.
This is a story so well-told that only the duties of life kept me from reading its 544 pages straight through. This is no plodding tome. Every page is alive, every chapter a well-constructed gem. He begins with sketches of the major players, then masterfully weaves them into the events of the day: the peace negotiations ending World War I, the battle over the League of Nations, prohibition, the women's suffrage amendment, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the peculiar hobby of lynching, the effect of the Bolshevik Revolution on domestic radicals, Sacco and Vanzetti, the Boston Police Strike.
We see a young (38) and vigorous Franklin D. Roosevelt, pre-polio, dashing across the street from his own driveway to the home of the Attorney General, on whose front steps a domestic radical has just accidentally blown himself up. We find a calm and rather dull Warren G.Read more ›
Harding emerges as a sympathetic, but flawed figure, with a penchant for personal risk-taking that makes Bill Clinton or Gary Hart seem cautious by comparison. His serial affairs nearly undid his candidacy. Instead, we learn how fellow Ohioan Harry Daugherty brilliantly engineered Harding's nomination by not alienating anyone at the Republican convention. Daugherty would later meet an ignominous end as Harding's AG. Another tragic figure, Interior Secretary Albert Fall, might have avoided infamy -- and spared the country the Teapot Dome scandal -- had Harding's first choice for the cabinent post not been shot dead in a lover's quarrel. This is one of many eye-opening revelations -- too numerous to recount -- for anyone who thinks that salacious affairs are only the stuff of modern politics.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Pietrusza is a gifted wordsmith who's penned well paced, highly accessible popular history.
But for an untimely death, Theodore Roosevelt would have been the presumptive Republican nominee and, given the political conditions of the time, probably would have returned to the White House. In the White House, Woodrow Wilson remained felled by a stroke but stubbornly held onto power and the idea that he could run for a third term. From New York, a young, vigorous Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the groundwork for what would become the longest Presidency in history. Herbert Hoover, the hero of wartime procurement and post-war famine relief, struggled to with the idea of whether he was a Republican or a Democrat. Up in Massachusetts, a mild-mannered Calvin Coolidge was on the verge of shocking everyone. And, in Ohio, Warren G. Harding, a man with a past so checked that he couldn't possibly be considered a viable candidate today, was convinced by party insiders that he could in fact be President of the United States.
In 1920: The Year Of The Six Presidents, David Pietrusza tells the story of this election, but, more than that, he tells the story of what was happening in America in the years after World War One and on the cusp of the Jazz Age. Through it all, Piestruza weaves together a compelling narrative that brings to life events whose consequences reverberated through the 20th Century.
There are plenty of surprises here.Read more ›
In November, the incumbant's party is handed a decisive defeat and loses the presidency and along with it Congress.
Though to be sure, the two elections have many differences, what unifies them...apart from the forgoing...is the sense of drama they had and the ardent and very modern way in which they were fought.
As promised, 1920 is the story of six presidents: Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, it's also the story of so much more.
But first...as to the presidents...
On Teddy Roosevelt, this book makes the important point that but for his death, Teddy Roosevelt probably would have won the election of 1920. As already indicated, Wilson was thoroughly detested by the public and the Repulican's were the seeming and sure winners. Though TR had squandered some of his party good will by bringing about a Replubican defeat in 1912 (TR bolted from the Republicans to head up an independent party ticket referred to as the Progressives...which actually outpolled the Republicans that year), TR was more than ready for a comeback. He'd mended his fences and seemed certain to be the standard bearer but for his sudden demise in 1919.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The intersection of the lives of so many people important in 20th century American history was a wonderful starting point, but this book unfortunately proved disappointing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Expat
In an election year that at first glance seems unprecedented – the Republican nominee is not really a Republican, a woman is likely for the first time to head up a national ticket,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stan Prager
I enjoyed reading the book. Although I agree with some of the 3 star reviewers, J Grattan's being one, that the book has deficiencies. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Terry Jennrich
Overall a fun election year read. Sort of underscores that behind the scenes politics really hasn't changed much over the years. Read morePublished 3 months ago by james timm
I liked this book...but then I am a history buff....interesting unknown facts about personal lives even in the 1920'sPublished 3 months ago by L. M. Reynar
Amazing how politics have little changed in the past 100 years. This book took me into the culture of early 1900's. My grandparents generation.Published 4 months ago by HeyStewie
A very interesting book about a little known facts about a presidential election. Very well done and well researched. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Maizie Fox