Your audiobook is waiting…

Henry Clay

The Man Who Would Be President
Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
Length: 19 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Charismatic, charming, and one of the best orators of his era, Henry Clay seemed to have it all. He offered a comprehensive plan of change for America, and he directed national affairs as Speaker of the House, as Secretary of State to John Quincy Adams - the man he put in office - and as acknowledged leader of the Whig party. 

As the broker of the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay fought to keep a young nation united when westward expansion and slavery threatened to tear it apart. Yet, despite his talent and achievements, Henry Clay never became president. Three times he received Electoral College votes, twice more he sought his party's nomination, yet each time he was defeated.

Alongside fellow senatorial greats Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, Clay was in the mix almost every moment from 1824 to 1848. Given his prominence, perhaps the years should be termed not the Jacksonian Era but rather the Age of Clay.

James C. Klotter uses new research and offers a more focused, nuanced explanation of Clay's programs and politics in order to answer the question of why the man they called "The Great Rejected" never won the presidency but did win the accolades of history.

©2018 Oxford University Press (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book by a talented writer and historian

Excellent and thought provoking. Like any good work on history, the reader will be left with many new questions and many fresh ideas to explore further. I was constantly wanting to put this down and explore the issues it raised, but the author consistently keeps you with him until the end.

Two items struck me the most while reading. The first is the relationship between the development of Clay and the development of Kentucky. Was Clay’s development more a product of Kentucky’s experience, or did Clay have the greater influence on Kentucky’s development? How mutual was the influence? I started believing that the two had more or less equal influence on each other, a back and forth push pull as they developed together. I was left feeling that Kentucky was more of an influence on Clay than he was on Kentucky, a conclusion I don’t think the author would share, but the one I was left with. It is an interesting open question in my mind and left me wanting to read more about the early life of Kentucky.

The second was the person of John J. Crittenden. He is usually more of a background figure in history, a piece of furniture the actors work around. This is clearly not the case and this work leaves you wanting to know more about him. Hopefully we will see a new biography of this important figure. This author would be an excellent choice to write such a book.

The audiobook narration is excellent. James Foster is wonderful. Tantor Audio meets its usual high standard.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thorough. Maybe too thorough

Wonderfully researched. Clay was a great man, but he repeated his mistakes. Over and over and over. I got little sense of his wife, or family. I only got the overriding message that he wanted to be president. The author was good, but there some pronunciation missteps. They distracted me. My apologies if my comment seems picky.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful