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Calvin Coolidge Hardcover – December 26, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Greenberg's political beliefs get in the way of a non-partisan review of Calvin Coolidge. He does not much like his hands off philosophy nor very obviously, his small government/non intereference beliefs. This gets in the way of real examination of the man and his accomplishments. Though he admits to admiring aspects of the man's personal life, he cannot extend that admiration to Coolidge's lack of ambition or vision as president.
From the begining of his national notice as governor of Taxachusetts, Coolidge is portrayed as a man who dithers from indecision rather than a man who refuses to overstep his potical boundaries (police strike of 1919). Greenberg labels Coolidege's propensity to delegate rather than do things himself as weakness rather than sound executive ability.
He does note Coolidge's accomplishments in the use of radio (the new media then)to actually contact the people in lareg numbers. His ability to use the medium let him avoid the Congress and go direct to the people, something few presidents have forgotten since. With this use of radio and regularly scheduled presss conferences, he was the first 'modern' president.
Greenberg's personal political philosophy gets in the way too many times of the process of looking into Coolidge. From the falsehood of tax cuts "costing the Treasury money better spent on infrastructure" (how about what taxpayers would have done with it?Read more ›
Take the event which catapulted him into national prominence-- his decision as Governor of Massachusetts to fire and replace the Boston police officers who went on strike in 1919. Hailed by later-day strike-busters as an example of how to preserve public safety by standing up to big labor, Coolidge characteristically delayed acting until matters had reached a crisis.
Faced with a police commissioner who refused to improve overcrowded stations and worsening job conditions, police officers in Boston went on strike. Rather than call out the state militia to maintain order, Coolidge did nothing. He went home and slept soundly while rioters pillaged Boston. Three people died. Coolidge eventually acted by firing all the striking officers and permanently replacing them. The public had grown weary of strikes and radical activism, and Coolidge's decisive, if belated, action, made him a national figure and greatly contributed to his capturing the vice presidency at the 1920 Republican National Convention.
Few at the time realized Coolidge's unique blend of fiscal conservatism and social progressivism. While climbing the ladder of state politics in Massachusetts, Coolidge shrank public debt while raising teachers' salaries; he lowered taxes and supported women's suffrage; he radically reduced the size of state government while approving hiring bonuses for war veterans. As vice president, however, he was invisible, and supported the administration mainly by delivering speeches on its behalf.
When Warren Harding died suddenly in 1923, a mortified Calvin Coolidge was sworn-in as president.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy the American Presidents series and especially reading/learning about the obscure/forgotten/unknown presidents. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michael Lapelosa
There is just enough variation contained in the content of each book written about each President that one which is poorly written will drag the overall quality of the whole... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Stinson E. Humphrey
Now I realize there was a Goldwater and Reagan before '64 and '80.
Seems Reagan took a page from silent Cal and mastered the power of mass media.
An enjoyable read!
It's the best of both worlds; not all politics, a lot of of his personal history, his upbringing and his personality shine through. I would recommend it!Published 20 months ago by slow runner
First, I want to be clear - I thought this book was very well written and easy to follow. The author did a great job of present Mr. Coolidge. Read morePublished on April 21, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I read all the Biographies of the Presidents by way of the Presidential series. If you are going to do it, read John Hancock first because he was the first Continental Congress... Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Frank Anderson
A short and concise treatment of our thirtieth president which would probably have suited him well - brevity and to-the-point speaking and writing were his 'signature. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by Philip Deitsch