Coolidge

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Overview

Calvin Coolidge never rated high in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s—triumphant years in which the nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus—and the little-known president behind them. Perhaps more than any other president, Coolidge understood that doing less could yield more, reducing the federal budget even as the ...

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Coolidge

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Overview

Calvin Coolidge never rated high in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s—triumphant years in which the nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus—and the little-known president behind them. Perhaps more than any other president, Coolidge understood that doing less could yield more, reducing the federal budget even as the economy grew, wages rose, taxes fell, and unemployment dropped.

In this illuminating, 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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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

He was nicknamed "Silent Cal"; his supporters were urged to "Keep Cool with Coolidge": The signature tone of our 30th President was so low key that even his contemporaries sometimes dismissed as a relative nonentity. That dismissive attitude might change with this new biography by journalist/author Amity Shaes (The Forgotten Man). In Coolidge, she argues that what this mild-mannered Massachusetts lawyer and government lacked in charisma; he gained in effectiveness and honest resolve. In her view, he deserves ample credit for presiding over pre-Depression prosperity and political stability. A presidential life certain to win wide attention in this new era of fierce economic debates.

Alan Greenspan
“History has paid little attention to the achievements of Coolidge because he seemed to be unduly passive. Yet Amity Shlaes, as his biographer, exposes the heroic nature of the man and brings to life one of the most vibrant periods in American economic history.”
George F. Will
“To read Amity Shlaes’s well-crafted biography is to understand why Reagan so admired the famously reticent man whom Shlaes calls ‘our great refrainer.’”
Anne Applebaum
“Amity Shlaes’s extraordinary biography describes how a single politician can change an entire political culture — a story with plenty of echoes today. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, doyenne of the Washington salons, first disdained Coolidge, then admired him. After reading Coolidge, every reader will, too.”
Mark Helprin
“A marvelous book that is in many respects as subtle and powerful as Coolidge himself. Shlaes’s masterly command of economics, policy, and personal portraiture illustrates the times, talents, character, and courage of the consummate New Englander.”
Paul Ryan
Coolidge is a welcome new biography of a great American president. Amity Shlaes shines fresh light on a leader of humble persistence who unexpectedly found himself in the presidency and whose faith in the American people helped restore prosperity during a period of great turmoil. Amidst today’s economic hardships and an uncertain future, Shlaes illuminates a path forward — making Coolidge a must-read for policymakers and citizens alike.”
Paul Volcker
“Amity Shlaes’s new biography carries a different and highly relevant message. . . . Read Coolidge, and better understand the forces bearing on the President and Congress almost a century later.”
Thomas Mallon
“Shlaes impresses readers with the single-mindedness of Coolidge’s pursuit. . . . For the next decade or so, it may be Amity Shlaes who has custody of Coolidge’s reputation.”
The Weekly Standard
“Amity Shlaes’s new biography ushers in a long-overdue rehabilitation of the 30th president. . . . Coolidge is a compelling, endlessly rewarding, and persuasive contribution to historical scholarship.”
The New York Times Book Review — Editor's Choice
“With a deft finger on today’s conservative pulse, Shlaes portrays Calvin Coolidge as a paragon of a president by virtue of his small-government policies.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Timely and important. . . . The research is exhaustive, and the political and economic analysis sound.”
USA Today
“Amity Shlaes’s rich new biography reminds us that Calvin Coolidge must not be forgotten in our era of staggering government deficits and poisoned political rhetoric. . . . A finely muted drama.”
The Economist
“America’s 30th president has been much misunderstood. . . . Shlaes’s biography provides a window onto an unfairly tarnished period. It deserves to be widely read.”
Publishers Weekly
Reading perceived weaknesses as strengths and persistent setbacks as evidence of perseverance, journalist Shlaes (The Forgotten Man) glowingly portrays Coolidge as an unappreciated economic hero. Born in Vermont in 1872, Coolidge studied law in Northampton, Mass., married schoolteacher Grace Goodhue, and doggedly climbed the Republican political ladder. From governor of Massachusetts to vice president and then president of the United States, Coolidge distanced himself from the progressive elements of his party; he championed low taxes, small government, and commerce as the foundations of prosperity. Shlaes writes with crisp, engaging prose, and her keen eye for detail is rooted in a solid collection of source material. But the story's unrelenting linear trajectory bounces between such disparate topics as tax policies, maple syrup, and aviation with little indication of the degree of importance. Shlaes's reluctance to critically analyze Coolidge's political policies and actions is especially evident in her avoidance of delving into what Coolidge may have known about the Harding scandals and about weaknesses in the economy. Shlaes successfully shows, through clear explanations of Coolidge's fiscal policies, why modern-day conservatives should consider him an economic hero, but she fails to illuminate what it meant for all Americans to Keep Cool with Coolidge during the complex 1920s. 16-page b&w photo insert. Agents: Sarah Chalfant, Scott Moyers, Adam Eaglin, and Andrew Wylie, the Wylie Agency. (Feb.)
The New York Times Book Review -- Editor's Choice
“With a deft finger on today’s conservative pulse, Shlaes portrays Calvin Coolidge as a paragon of a president by virtue of his small-government policies.”
Editor's Choice - The New York Times Book Review
"With a deft finger on today’s conservative pulse, Shlaes portrays Calvin Coolidge as a paragon of a president by virtue of his small-government policies."
Library Journal
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
Library Journal
Director of the George W. Bush Institute's economic growth project and author of the New York Times best-selling The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Shlaes presents our 30th President as a model to emulate during these economically stressed times. One biography that might provoke fierce discussion in book clubs; with a one-day laydown on June 26 and a 150,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
President from 1923 to 1929, Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933) is traditionally dismissed as an honorable mediocrity, but journalist Shlaes (The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, 2007, etc.) argues that he was better than that. The author makes a convincing case, but readers who don't share her conservative views may not agree that he was superior to FDR, whom she skewered in The Forgotten Man. Raised in rural Vermont, Coolidge practiced law in Massachusetts. His celebrated New England reserve describes him accurately, but he was popular and flourished in Republican state politics. Progressive at first, he steadily grew less so, backing William Howard Taft against Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. As governor, he achieved national fame and the vice presidency by crushing the 1919 Boston police strike. Taking over after President Warren Harding's death, Coolidge set to work reducing federal taxes, expenses and personnel. By contemporary standards, he was a moderate. His opposition to business regulation and social programs provoked only modest controversy. Times were prosperous, and he got the credit and became very popular. Clearly an admirer, Shlaes stresses that, under Coolidge, the budget was balanced, tax cuts reduced the top rate by half, the national debt fell, and unemployment remained below five percent. Wages rose and interest rates fell, as well, so the poor had jobs and could borrow money more easily. Most historians portray the 1920s as a simpler time, but the author maintains that Coolidge's hands-off, minimal government, free-market approach remains ideal. Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan provides an enthusiastic endorsement, and like-minded readers will find Shlaes' well-researched but highly opinionated biography deeply satisfying.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061967597
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 73,640
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Amity Shlaes serves as chairman of the board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, directs the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and writes a syndicated column for Forbes. She is the author of The Forgotten Man and The Greedy Hand.

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Read an Excerpt

Coolidge


By Amity Shlaes

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Amity Shlaes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-196755-9


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

SNOWBOUND


Plymouth

They were the ones who stayed.

They told themselves this as they trudged past the houses up the road to the old lot in the spring snow. The lot itself was a challenge. Farming there was especially difficult because the soil was too rocky; the hill curved up too steeply. For a period the family had burned lime there, but the railroad had not chosen to come to Plymouth and no one could get the lime out. Now, in the 1870s, they found themselves returning to the limekiln lot for humbler, simpler harvests: wood or sugar. The logs could be sold by the cord. The lot lay above their farm, to the west, and sugar maples were plentiful there. In April, they tapped the trees. Their family fashioned the wooden buckets themselves, sometimes branding the bottom with their name in capital letters. They carried the buckets of sap to a sugar house, where it was heated and made into syrup. Each year eight hundred to two thousand pounds of maple syrup and hard sugar were produced this way. They liked the trees, which grew up with them, like siblings or children. Others, even relatives, had deemed such harvests paltry. Those others had headed west to the Great Plains, where your prosperity unfurled before you, flat and vast, like a yellow carpet.


But not John and Victoria Coolidge. If the land tested them, they liked that about it. The spring sugaring was only one part of an annual cycle of ingenuity, well established by the time John, of the fourth generation of Coolidges in Plymouth, became an adult, in the 1860s. After the sugaring came other challenges, which one could lay out in a list beside the names of the months: Mend fences. Shear sheep. Weave. Raise horses or puppies. Get the cows to pasture. Plant hay. Get hay in. Even the level fields below the lot were tough to cultivate. Later, in fact, a study would show that not one acre of the land in Plymouth, a town of farmers, was truly arable. Still, the rhythm of the cycle kept them going. By autumn, they were slaughtering animals. The last to be slaughtered was a cow. There was always milking, summer or winter. But without a railroad, milk was like lime: hard to turn into money. Milk spoiled. To sell a calf or a peacock, they had to take it twelve miles by cart to Ludlow, where the depot was.

Because nothing was ever quite sure, it was best to have a hand in everything. John Coolidge kept the small store at the center of the village. He also served as insurance agent, sheriff, tax collector, notary, everything a man could be in a town. John's wife— her full name was Victoria Josephine Moor Coolidge— gardened and sewed. His mother, Sarah, taught Sunday school, delivered babies, and did the weaving. His father, Calvin Galusha, had experimented with peacocks and horses. In 1863, Galusha put out to stud Young Arabian, a fifteen-hand bay with "all the action and command of limb that a cat or greyhound is master of," for a fee of $10. Through his mother Calvin Galusha claimed a trace of Indian blood, and in him there seemed to be the ingenuity of the Native Americans and the Puritans combined.

The stage on which they lived their lives was small: their house, five rooms behind the store; the 1842 church, with a pew for which Calvin Coolidge, John Coolidge's grandfather, had paid $31; a stone schoolhouse; and a few other farms. Beyond the store, a few dozen rods away, about two or three hundred feet, lay the house of Calvin Galusha and his wife. Beyond that were the lakes, the river, and the twelve mile trip down the steep hill to Ludlow. In the old days there had been cabins; now the houses in Plymouth, Plymouth Union, and other hamlets in the area were mostly white clapboard, with red barns. While the weather was still warm, John Coolidge and Calvin Galusha traveled about the county or the state, often on official business but always keeping an eye out for new ways to gain a livelihood. There had been a gold rush in the area back in 1859. with several hundred miners converging on the town that June, claiming to find four to eight dollars' worth a day. Disappointment had followed excitement. "Gold is found upon the farm of Mr. Amos Pollard near Plymouth Pond," the paper in Ludlow, Massachusetts, had written. "The metal is so diffused that it costs more to get it than it comes to." Granite too had been found here in Plymouth, enough for fence posts but nowhere near the amounts that could be mined in other parts of the state, such as Barre, Vermont, which called itself the "Granite Center of the World." Windsor County had always suffered bad luck: long ago the state capital had started out in the town of Windsor but had relocated to Montpelier, depriving the area of much commerce. Death came too often, so often that there were two hearses stored in the town, one on wheels for summer and one on blades for winter. John Coolidge's brother, Julius Caesar Coolidge, had died around the time he had married. Others had wasted away from tuberculosis, or consumption; the cold long winters there seemed particularly hospitable to the illness, which was known as the "New England disease." Victoria also seemed susceptible.

To explain their life to themselves, villagers like the Coolidges turned to the classics: the plays of William Shakespeare, other old English texts, and the Greeks and Romans. They saw analogies in the stories of rebels after whom they were named: Oliver Cromwell, John Calvin, or Julius Caesar. It was to Julius Caesar that Mark Antony had "thrice presented ... a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse."

In Plymouth at town meetings citizens also invoked Cincinnatus, who left his plow to serve in Rome as dictator, settled a dispute among warring tribes, then returned to his plow once the crisis was past rather than settling into dictatorship. There were also, of course, analogies to the American Revolution; it was a matter of lively debate in Vermont whether Brutus had been justified in his assassination of Caesar, or whether Ethan Allen had been right in playing off New York, the new Congress, and Canada against one another.

Church and church meetings filled any time that remained in their days. And the Bible was the villagers' basic text; it reached everywhere, even into their cooking. The Coolidge family recipe collection contained instructions for "Scripture Cake":

One cup of butter. Judges 5:25

Three and one half cups flour. I Kings 4:22

Two cups sugar. Jeremiah 6:20

Two cups raisins. I Samuel 30:12

One cup of water. Genesis 24:17

Two cups figs. I Samuel 30:12

Two cups almonds. Genesis 43:11

Six eggs. Isaiah 10:14

One tablespoonful honey. Exodus 16:31

A pinch of salt. Leviticus 2:13.

Spices to taste. I Kings 10:2

Two tablespoonfuls baking pow. I Cor. 5:6

Follow Solomon's advice for making good boys (Proverb 23:14), and you will have good cake. Bake in a loaf and ice.


The autumn made town meetings, churchgoing, even socializing, harder. And snowfall could shut Plymouth Notch off suddenly and entirely, making the steep hill road impassible. Such isolation could come in a matter of hours, as in a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, "Snow-Bound." "A fence-less drift what once was road," as Whittier had put it. The only way out was to build a new road, an ice road, laboriously, by packing snow over so that a sleigh might slide across the hard surface. Keeping the house warm was another challenge. In the bedroom there was soapstone to be heated on the stove; it warmed the bed for hours at night in the winter. In Whittier's own New England village, Haverhill, Massachusetts, the sun was so weak it gave off, at noon, "a sadder light than waning moon." In such a place, "ere the early bedtime came,"

The white drift piled the window frame And through the glass the clothes line posts Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

There was a kind of comfort in the snowbound period; it was the only time the Coolidges had a moment to take stock of their accomplishments. They belonged to no one else; they succeeded because they lived economically. John Coolidge wrote down everything in small notebooks: the taxes to be paid, the taxes to be levied, what might be collected, what might be spent on a trip to Ludlow or Boston. The Coolidges believed that others might succeed as well if they managed similar thrift. The terrifying price of not living within one's means had long been evident, both to them and to others, and could be heard in the family lore they repeated to one another when they told the old stories. The second name of John's father, Galusha, could be heard in some of those stories. Jonas Galusha had been a famous Vermonter who had come to prominence as a captain fighting against General John Burgoyne during the Revolutionary War. When Daniel Shays, the farmer rebelling against debt, had fled north, Galusha had been charged with repulsing the refugees and driving them back south. From 1781, Galusha had served as sheriff of Bennington County, a job where he had come to know the consequences of debt as few know them. Debt collection and cruel laws made enforcement "onerous and perplexing to the last degree," as a later historian put it. In the Vermont records is the notation of the state's obligation of 10 pounds, 4 shillings, and 6 pence to Galusha for fulfilling the sentence of the Supreme Court of the state by cutting off the ear of one Abel Geer and branding his forehead with the letter "C," probably for "counterfeiter." Such experiences were not easy to forget: debt preoccupied Galusha, an upright dignitary, all his days. Later Galusha went on to serve as judge and governor, holding the latter post for multiple terms. In those final years, he wrote explicitly that he disliked the debt collection process. The reality, Jonas Galusha saw, was that "more money is spent in the collection of such debts than is saved by the collection." Another Coolidge cousin, Carlos Coolidge, had also served as governor of the state for two years, and in that period too there had been legislation to deal with debt. Nowadays that was not possible: repeated terms for an incumbent offended Vermonters' sense of independence from their own government, so they rotated governors, one year's service each, from the two sides of the Green Mountains. The tradition of one year service would be known as the "Mountain Rule." If a man could stay within his means, if he could stay healthy, this life of independence was the highest choice of all. Some who had left had come back or longed to. In the Plymouth Notch cemetery was the grave of Barton Billings, son of another family daughter, Calvin Galusha's sister Sally. Billings had died in Kansas, and his epitaph read: "Carry me back to old Vermont, where the rills trickle down the hills, there is where I want to lie when I die."


Still, John and Victoria could not help seeing, the majority of the Vermonters who left did not want to come back. Over the years Calvin Galusha, Sarah, and John found themselves lonelier than they imagined. Nor were the Plymouth citizens alone in leaving. In the 1850s alone, 50,000 more had departed Vermont, mostly heading west, than had come in. A factor they had never imagined, the Erie Canal, had made that western migration possible. Talents like the Rutland-born blacksmith John Deere had abandoned Vermont and founded great companies out west.


Indeed, one could argue that it was their own line, John, Calvin Galusha, and Calvin before him, that was breaking tradition by not leaving. A move was not necessarily cowardice; sometimes one moved on to build a better life. Their Coolidge ancestors had left Cottenham, England, and come over in the time of John Winthrop, perhaps even in the same fleet with the Arbella. On that voyage, Winthrop had delivered a sermon about living as a model: "Wee shall be as a city upon a hill, the eies of all people are upon us.

"Winthrop's first City on a Hill had been named Plymouth, after Plymouth in England, to signify that the settlers must improve upon what others had built at home. The Coolidges had made their own city across the river from Boston, in Watertown, where they had fast established a reputation for ingenuity and thrift. Trade with Boston was important, but the Charles River was in the way. The Coolidge ancestors had worked out a solution: one had built the first bridge across the Charles River by stringing eight foot baskets across the span, then fortifying it with wood and stone. The settlers of Watertown were not content with an ocean to separate them from old England; they sought political separation. In 1631, the inhabitants of Watertown objected to a levy for public defense imposed from above by their English governors. They, still Englishmen, were being taxed without consent. The result was that free men in the colony were permitted to have representation, elect a governor, and choose a deputy to a general court. Coolidges created and attended some of the first town meetings, helping to establish what would become a familiar form of government in New England.


A Coolidge forefather had signed the Dedham Covenant, which explicitly posited as its goal to keep out those who did not fit: "That we shall by all means labor to keep off from us all such as are contrary minded, and receive only such unto us as may be probably of one heart with us." The reasoning was simple: create virtue and lead by example. Testing virtue— inviting too many different thinkers into your midst— was, in their view, too dangerous. There were still numerous Coolidges all around Boston, many wealthy and distinguished. A few were also descended from Thomas Jefferson.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Coolidge by Amity Shlaes. Copyright © 2013 by Amity Shlaes. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    What kind of an idiot gives a book one star because it didn't ar

    What kind of an idiot gives a book one star because it didn't arrive same day?! You review the BOOK not BARNES and NOBLE! That being said, I had to review because it is a shame to see such an outstanding book with one star. This book is amazing, thought provoking, well-written and well researched. Amity Shlaes has proven herself an amazing author who knows her stuff. I personally, cannot say enough good about this book.

    27 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Received the book yesterday. Loving it. May finish this weekend

    Received the book yesterday. Loving it. May finish this weekend or early next week. So many solutions to modern problems in this thing.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2013

    The current administration should read this book.

    The current administration should read this book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Awesome

    AWESOME!

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Timely book that that dispells some myths about Coolidge and his

    Timely book that that dispells some myths about Coolidge and his life. I enjoyed it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    It's not enough that Amity Shales jackhammers and re-welds the s

    It's not enough that Amity Shales jackhammers and re-welds the story of infamous ne'er-do-well Calvin Coolidge into something that non-too-subtly parallels our current political situation. She goes one further and re-casts Silent Cal as a hero. This is sloppy hackwork that serves no purpose other than shilling for the disgraced Rockefeller/Bush/Romney wing of the GOP by thinly-veiled proxy. It veers off into screeds of no historical veracity or even textual bearing. Coolidge may have been of personable disposition and easy-going temperament. He might have even possessed a wickedly sharp sense of humor. It matters not. He garnered renown as a failure for a reason. Ms. Shales wants you to ignore that. Much like Dubya's petty self-justification in 'Decision Points' or Obama's narcissistic blame projection in his every speech or press conference, Ms. Shales' insipid arguments have no effect on a public desensitized to the crass shuck-and-jive of an aloof spin peddler.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    The unforgotten President should be remembered.

    While reading the book, I was amazed how the early 1900's paralleled with the situation of the 2000's. Seems like the same problems that are facing our nation now is what Coolidge encountered while he occupied the white house (high unemployment, union strikes, high taxes,etc.). But Coolidge handled the economy problems exactly opposite as is being done today. And, the result was a revived economy. I can easily see why President Reagan followed Coolidge's example to fix the economy when he was president. Thanks (or, no thanks) to the policies of President Hoover and later President Roosevelt, everything that Coolidge accomplished for the country was reversed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    This book is very well written. One thing I like a lot is you ge

    This book is very well written. One thing I like a lot is you get more than just the run of the mill autobiography you also get tidbits that give you a deeper glimpse in  into the psyche of Calving Coolidge.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Objective?

    The book could have been more objective and not raised the issue of how she saw Mr. Coolidge. Disappointment.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    DO NOT TRUST SAME DAY DELIVERY IN MANHATTAN

    DO NOT TRUST SAME DAY DELIVERY IN MANHATTAN

    2 out of 80 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    Highly recomended

    This biography of Coolidge is very well written and very insightful.
    To bad he did not have a second term.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Excellent

    Once again she's quietly given us a stunner.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Sure cure for insomnia

    I found "Coolidge" to be extremely difficult to read and often found myself dozing off after 1 or 2 pages. Probably why it took a couple of months to finish! It seemed the author would start a line of thought then veer off in a direction that made you wonder about the relevance. I frequently thought to myself " Where is she going with this?" or "What does this have to do with [the current thought]?)
    That said, the book is extremely well researched and gives great insight into one of our lesser known presidents. His honesty, integrity, and faithfulness to his principles were/are very refreshing. One can only wonder where we'd be today if he'd run for another term and Hoover and F.D.R. had come along at a different time...or not at all! I ended up really liking Coolidge and hope/wish someone like him would run today!
    I was surprised that more emphasis wasn't placed on the era of his presidency. I have to believe that "the roaring 20's", prohibition, the rise of organized crime, etc. hed to have an influence in the governance of our country!

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