Customer Reviews for

Rutherford B. Hayes (American Presidents Series)

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  • Posted December 15, 2012

    I have read several biographies in this series and so far this i

    I have read several biographies in this series and so far this is the only one that reads like a chronological list of the events of 
    his life.  But at the top of Page 55  I was struck by a sentence that made me believe the author had made an error.  A little research
    confirmed my belief.  In 1871 Hayes  visited  Washington.  He visited the President and had  other meetings.  The author writes:
    "Unfortunately he missed former Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who expressed his regret and his hope to see him next time."  

    Stanton apparently expressed those regrets from his grave.  Stanton died in 1869, shortly after being appointed to the Supreme Court.    
    Surely Hayes would have known this and wouldn't have expected to meet with him.  His biographer should have known this also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    Little more than an outline

    Hans Trefousse's treatment of Rutherford B. Hayes falls far short of its potential. The book seems more a recitation of facts from an outline than a historical study. Paragraphs are often composed of short sentences listing either events, travels, or entertainments. Trefousse would have served the reader better to provide an understanding of the man and the period rather than try to list each trip or party. At times the biography seemed to be written by a student rather than an historian. Unable to resist the comparison of the 1876 election to 2000, Trefousse stretched the similarities in the Introduction (e.g. the African-American vote in 2000) and revealed his political biases in the Conclusion. Considering the weakness of his book, he would have done the reader a better service by writting a good historical biography rather than providing political commentary on current events. The editors have failed to maintain the quality that is evident in other books of The American Presidents series. One hopes that the editors take their role as editors seriously and do not consider their job ended with the commissioning of authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2003

    A touchy-feely review of Hayes

    This short biography focuses too much on how Hayes felt about the events of that time. Additionally, the author's descriptions of the contested election of 1876 with its 'parallels' with the 2000 election are suspect. For example, a quote 'In 1876, as in 2000, the disputed result of the presidential canvass hinged on the question of votes denied to African Americans.' This assertion about the 2000 election is patently false; even the partisan US Civil Rights Commission could find no example of disenfranchised African Americans. The foci on the contest were predominately elderly white areas of Palm Beach and Broward counties. Note also with respect to the Kirkus review above, Hayes was not ousted by the Democrats, but decided to serve only one term prior to his election. He was succeeded by Garfield, a Republican.

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