Coolidge

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Coolidge

Format:  Hardcover,

565 pages

Publisher: Harpercollins

Publish Date: Feb 2013

ISBN-13: 9780061967559

ISBN-10: 0061967556

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

Calvin Coolidge, who served as president from 1923 to 1929, never rated highly in polls. The shy Vermonter, nicknamed "Silent Cal," has long been dismissed as quiet and passive. History has remembered the decade in which he served as a frivolous, extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Now Amity Shlaes, the author known for her riveting, unexpected portrait of the 1930s, provides a similarly fresh look at the 1920s and its elusive president. Shlaesshows that the mid-1920s was, in fact, a triumphant period that established our modern way of life: the nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus. Coolidge is an eye-opening biography of the little-known president behind that era of remarkable growth and national optimism.

Although Coolidge was sometimes considered old-fashioned, he was the most modern of presidents, advancing not only the automobile trade but also aviation, through his spirited support of Charles Lindbergh. Coolidge's discipline and composure, Shlaes reveals, represented not weakness but strength. First as governor of Massachusetts then as president, Coolidge proved unafraid to take on the divisive issues of this crucial period: reining in public-sector unions, unrelentingly curtailing spending, and rejecting funding for new interest groups.

Perhaps more than any other president, Coolidge understood that doing less could yield more. He reduced the federal budget during his time in office even as the economy grew, wages rose, tax rates fell, and unemployment dropped. As a husband, father, and citizen, the thirtieth president made an equally firm commitment to moderation, shunning lavish parties and special presidential treatment; to him the presidency was not a bully pulpit but a place for humble service. Overcoming private tragedy while in office, including the death of a son, Coolidge showed the nation how to persevere by persevering himself. For a nation looking for a steady hand, he was a welcome pilot.

In this illuminating, magisterial biography, AmityShlaes finally captures the remarkable story of Calvin Coolidge and the decade of extraordinary prosperity that grew from his leadership.

Specifications

Publisher: Harpercollins
Publish Date: Feb 2013
ISBN-13: 9780061967559
ISBN-10: 0061967556
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 565
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.8
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.5 x 2.0
Walmart No.: 9780061967559

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2013-06-01)

A popular misconception surrounding President Calvin Coolidge holds that he was a dull enigma who presided over the roaring 1920's. Shlaes (The Forgotten Man; The Greedy Hand) casts fresh light on the strong character of the man. His restraint and poise in not allowing increased spending, in reducing the federal budget, and in dealing with public unions are just a few reasons that he is experiencing a resurgence in popularity among conservatives. The research is extensive, and the story is carried along at an enjoyable pace. Terrence Aselford's narration is pleasant and adds to this fine biography.

Verdict: Strongly recommended.

- Scott R. -DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania

(c). Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (2013-02-15)

Calvin Coolidge is one of our most hazily remembered presidents. He was reserved but strong willed and a man of conviction. Shlaes (syndicated columnist, Bloomberg View; The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression) shows that there are lessons in Coolidge's time as chief executive for how a determined president can cut the budget if he tries. Coolidge, a flinty Vermonter, moved to Massachusetts to practice law. His quiet intelligence got him elected to a series of offices, including the top one. As Massachusetts governor, he put down the Boston police strike, during which the police attempted to hold the government hostage. That got him national press, the vice presidency, and, upon President Harding's death in 1923, the White House.

Verdict: In spite of Coolidge's seeming inscrutable nature, Shlaes does an excellent job of bringing him to life. Her book is accessible but scholarly. Its bibliographical essay is an excellent guide for further reading. A good biography of a president undergoing historical reassessment; recommended.

-Michael O. Eshleman, Hobbs, NM

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

Calvin Coolidge, president from 1923 to 1929, never rated highly in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Now Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s and its elusive president, showing that the mid-1920s was in fact a triumphant period that established our modern way of life: The nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus.

Coolidge is an eye-opening biography of the little-known president behind that era of remarkable growth and national optimism. Coolidge's trademark discipline and composure, Shlaes reveals, represented not weakness but strength, and he proved unafraid to take on the divisive issues of this crucial period: reining in public sector unions, unrelentingly curtailing spending, and rejecting funding for new interest groups. He reduced the federal budget even as the economy grew, wages rose, taxes fell, and unemployment dropped.

In this magisterial biography, Amity Shlaes captures the remarkable story of Calvin Coolidge and the decade of extraordinary prosperity that grew from his leadership.

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