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Grover Cleveland (The American Presidents Series) Hardcover – August 20, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
That said, this is up to the usual dependable quality of works in this series. The book begins by placing the Cleveland family in context (e.g., I had never guessed that one of Cleveland's predecessors was a founder of Cleveland, Ohio, after whom the city was named!). The story of Cleveland's political career began in earnest when he served as Mayor of Buffalo, NY. This served as a launching point for his accession as Governor of New York. In the latter role, he distinguished himself as a "reformer."
After that, as a result of a confluence of events, he was nominated for President as a Democrat. While running for office (not that candidates did much in the way of campaigning), it came out that Cleveland may have fathered a child out of wedlock. Indicative of Cleveland's reputation, when asked what his "handlers" should do, he said, "Tell the truth." Rather refreshing!
Once elected, he served as a competent president, with some accomplishments in his first term. He was defeated when he ran for re-election, with Benjamin Harrison ousting him from office. However, four years later, he was re-elected to serve the White House. There were many challenges in his second term, some beyond his control. There was also the medical problem that was kept from public eye.Read more ›
While Grover Cleveland emerges in this biography as an admirable, laudable, and highly capable president, he also strikes the reader today, as he did Americans in the late 19th century, as a terribly unexciting person. Of our better presidents, Cleveland was unquestionably the one with the least outgoing personality. Being respectful, one might describe him as "solid" rather than "dull." Although not someone possessed with a great deal of charisma, he was nonetheless impressive by his own great personal honesty and integrity, and the enormous amount of hard work he put into his job. After a series of presidents whose time in office was marred by corruption, Cleveland did a great deal to restore integrity and respect to the White House.Read more ›
Professor Graff's short study of the life of Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) fulfills the aim of the series. The book consists of a brief biography of Cleveland and covers his youth, his public (and some of his private) life before he became president, his two presidencies, and his life in retirement. The accomplishments of each of his two terms are summarized, if briefly.
As do most writers who have studied Cleveland, Professor Graff finds his strength in his integrity and common sense. He was able to persuade his fellow Americans, both before and during his presidency of his honesty. Cleveland was a President without charisma and an uninspiring public speaker. He regretted his entire life his lack of a college education, and his career shows something of a discomfort with new ideas or new approaches. Yet, he was able to turn these traits, together with his own strengths into advantages. He proved a capable and inspiring President.
Professor Graff does not engage in hero-worship. If anything, I thought that he somewhat undervalued Cleveland and his accomplishment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provided a look at a man and president who is barely mentioned today. His time and challenges remind us that history does repeat itself. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peter A. Bonfanti
A unique man for the bombastic political time so the 1880's and 1890's.Published 3 months ago by Richard Folsom
Brief overview of Cleveland's life. Gave me an understanding of times and events. One would need to go further for a more in depth look at his life.;Published 9 months ago by Bob Swain
Interesting story of a president I never hear anything about. Turns out hew wqas an honest, effective president.Published 11 months ago by Michael Taylor