A best-selling historian and political commentator reconsiders McKinley’s overshadowed legacy....
By any serious measurement, best selling historian Kevin Phillips argues, William McKinley was a major American president. It was during his administration that the United States made its diplomatic and military debut as a world power. McKinley was one of eight presidents who, either in the White House or on the battlefield, stood as principals in successful wars, and he was among the six or seven to take office in what became recognized as a major realignment of the U.S. party system.
Phillips argues that McKinley’s lackluster ratings have been sustained not by unjust biographers but by years of criticism about his personality, indirect methodologies, middle-class demeanor, and tactical inability to inspire the American public. In this powerful and persuasive biography, Phillips musters convincing evidence that McKinley’s desire to heal, renew prosperity, and reunite the country qualify him for promotion into the ranks of the best chief executives.
©2003 Kevin Phillips, Arthur M. Schlesinger (P)2003 Macmillan Audio
This book is a few years old and can drag on occasions. It cites a lot of facts and requires some knowledge of Reconstruction Era/Gilded Age American history to fully appreciate. But it covers and era that is not well-studied, but has strong parallels to the present.
Understanding how McKinley was not an arch-conservative and laid the groundwork for the modern progressive movement.
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