Grover Cleveland, who served as both the twenty-second and the twenty-fourth president of the United States, dominated the American political scene from 1884-1896. Viewed at one time as a monument of presidential courage, Cleveland has over the past generation been dismissed by historians as a "Bourbon democrat," the symbol of that wing of the Democratic party devoted to preserving the status quo and protecting the interests of the propertied. In this revisionist study, Richard Welch takes a fresh look at the Cleveland administrations and discovers a man whose assertive temperament was frequently at odds with his inherited political faith.
$25. hist In his assessment of Grover Cleveland's two terms (1885-1889), Welch counters the views of Horace S. Merrill ( Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party , 1957), arguing that Cleveland was neither a ``Bourbon'' nor an unskilled political conservative. Welch contends that Cleveland was a complex, strong-willed executive who asserted the autonomy and dignity of the presidency, although he was not a good long-range planner and did not work well with Congress. He concludes that Cleveland is important in the evolution toward the strong presidents of the 20th century. Part of the high-quality ``American Presidency'' series, this work is highly recommended for all academic libraries and large public libraries. Joseph G. Dawson III, Texas A&M Univ., College Station