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Warren G. Harding / John W. Dean.

By: Dean, John W. (John Wesley), 1938-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: American presidents series (Times Books (Firm)): Publisher: New York : Times Books, 2004Edition: 1st ed.Description: xviii, 202 p. : port. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0805069569; 9780805069563.Subject(s): Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923 | Presidents -- United States -- Biography | United States -- Politics and government -- 1921-1923DDC classification: 973.91/4/092 | B
Contents:
Young Harding -- Editor, publisher, and apprentice politician -- United States senator -- Winning the nomination -- The 1920 campaign -- Cabinet making -- An unfinished presidency -- Death and disgrace.
Review: "During his presidency, Warren G. Harding was beloved. His presidential campaign slogan, "Not heroics but healing, not nostrums but normalcy," gave voice to a public exhausted by World War I. Harding inherited a White House in disarray after President Woodrow Wilson's debilitating stroke. He promised the American people that, under his watch, life and governance would once again be manageable." "His first priority was to bolster the economy, which had spiraled into recession after the end of the war. Despite his pro-business record as a U.S. senator and successful newspaper publishers in his hometown of Marion, Ohio, Harding became a self-styled populist. While he signed legislation limiting the number of immigrants in a tight labor market, he made exceptions for hard-luck cases. He placed the executive branch on a sound business footing with a new Bureau of the Budget, which succeeded in cutting expenditures by $1 billion, and rejected the politically popular war bonuses for soldiers that would have depleted the federal Treasury, paving the way for the economic boom of the 1920s. Harding initiated a series of historic disarmament treaties that reduced American, British, and Japanese naval fleets and limited the use of poison gas. He even gained a reputation for personally answering his own correspondence; magazine profiles lauded his efficient and smart approach to the presidency. By the spring of 1923, the U.S. economy was recovering, and Harding decided to take a tour of the West. When he died unexpectedly during the trip, nine million Americans lined railroad tracks to witness the funeral train as it passed, with crowds often singing the president's favorite hymn." "Yet Harding's legacy was soon tarnished by scandals not of his making. It was the Teapot Dome affair - in which the interior secretary had opened national oil reserves to private companies in exchange for alleged bribes - that made his name synonymous with scandal. Sensational headlines, congressional hearings, and criminal proceedings continued for a decade. Harding's ruin was sealed when a dubious tell-all memoir claimed that the president had had an extra-marital affair and had fathered an illegitimate daughter." "In this biography, John W. Dean - no stranger to presidential controversy himself - gives us a portrait of a man who succeeded in reestablishing order in the nation, struggled to keep order in his own administration, and literally gave his life to the presidency."--BOOK JACKET.
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Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E786 .D4 2004 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001987866

Includes bibliographical references (p. [189]-191) and index.

Young Harding -- Editor, publisher, and apprentice politician -- United States senator -- Winning the nomination -- The 1920 campaign -- Cabinet making -- An unfinished presidency -- Death and disgrace.

"During his presidency, Warren G. Harding was beloved. His presidential campaign slogan, "Not heroics but healing, not nostrums but normalcy," gave voice to a public exhausted by World War I. Harding inherited a White House in disarray after President Woodrow Wilson's debilitating stroke. He promised the American people that, under his watch, life and governance would once again be manageable." "His first priority was to bolster the economy, which had spiraled into recession after the end of the war. Despite his pro-business record as a U.S. senator and successful newspaper publishers in his hometown of Marion, Ohio, Harding became a self-styled populist. While he signed legislation limiting the number of immigrants in a tight labor market, he made exceptions for hard-luck cases. He placed the executive branch on a sound business footing with a new Bureau of the Budget, which succeeded in cutting expenditures by $1 billion, and rejected the politically popular war bonuses for soldiers that would have depleted the federal Treasury, paving the way for the economic boom of the 1920s. Harding initiated a series of historic disarmament treaties that reduced American, British, and Japanese naval fleets and limited the use of poison gas. He even gained a reputation for personally answering his own correspondence; magazine profiles lauded his efficient and smart approach to the presidency. By the spring of 1923, the U.S. economy was recovering, and Harding decided to take a tour of the West. When he died unexpectedly during the trip, nine million Americans lined railroad tracks to witness the funeral train as it passed, with crowds often singing the president's favorite hymn." "Yet Harding's legacy was soon tarnished by scandals not of his making. It was the Teapot Dome affair - in which the interior secretary had opened national oil reserves to private companies in exchange for alleged bribes - that made his name synonymous with scandal. Sensational headlines, congressional hearings, and criminal proceedings continued for a decade. Harding's ruin was sealed when a dubious tell-all memoir claimed that the president had had an extra-marital affair and had fathered an illegitimate daughter." "In this biography, John W. Dean - no stranger to presidential controversy himself - gives us a portrait of a man who succeeded in reestablishing order in the nation, struggled to keep order in his own administration, and literally gave his life to the presidency."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Dean (yes, that John Dean), former counsel to President Richard M. Nixon, the man who blew the lid off the Watergate scandal, and a former resident of President Harding's hometown of Marion, OH, argues that Harding has received a bum deal from historians, who rate him among the worst presidents in history (he served from 1921 to 1923). Dean attempts a revisionist view of Harding, arguing that his accomplishments have not received the credit they deserve. More advocacy effort than neutral biography, Dean credibly highlights Harding's successes. He is less effective, though, when skating very quickly over Harding's many flaws, especially the rampant corruption that took place under his unsuspecting nose. Dean does, however, get it about right when he writes that Harding "was a natural at being head of state, but not at the administrative side of the presidency, that of being head of government." This indictment alone undermines Dean's effort at a revival of the Harding reputation. Although the book is well written and a welcome addition to the sparse Harding literature, one is forced to conclude that while Harding may deserve more credit than currently granted, he remains near the bottom of the presidential pack. For large political collections.-Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Harding is perhaps the best-known president about whom we actually know very little. His administration is seen as marking a conservative reaction to the progressivism begun by one Roosevelt and setting up the conditions for the progressivism of another. More personally, he appears as the hapless front man for the gang of thieves whose crimes culminated in the Teapot Dome Scandal, the acme of political scandals until Watergate. Dean is from Harding's hometown in Ohio and learned about him from residents who knew him there. Taking full advantage of the president's papers, which generally have been unused by historians, the author set out to discern who Harding was. The man who emerges is far more nuanced and interesting than would be presumed. He comes across as an individual of skill and drive who was caught up in the issues of his day, such as international disarmament and industrial conflict, and at a time far more demanding and dangerous than tends to be conjured up by images of the 1920s. Some of his officials served him well and others behaved badly as Harding sought to carry the country into the future without losing touch with the past. Readers cannot deny that there is more to this figure than they ever assumed and Dean deserves a great deal of credit for making them aware of that.-Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

John W. Dean was born in Akron, Ohio on October 14, 1938. He received a B.A. from The College of Wooster in 1961 and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1965. He served as the White House legal counsel to President Nixon for a thousand days. He also served as chief minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee and as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice. He has written numerous non-fiction books including Blind Ambition, Lost Honor, Conservatives Without Conscience, The Rehnquist Choice, Worse than Watergate, Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, and The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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