Silent Cal's Almanack: The Homespun Wit and Wisdom of Vermont's Calvin Coolidge

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Overview

A treasury of the wit and wisdom of Calvin Coolidge, America's surprisingly eloquent 30th President.

You may ask "Why Coolidge?"

Everyone asks "Why Coolidge?"

We are quite used it.

Here is my sound-bite answer (or, at least, one of them): Every politician that comes down the pike, promises you four or five of the same things. He or she will cut taxes, reduce unemployment, ...

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Silent Cal's Almanack: The Homespun Wit and Wisdom of Vermont's Calvin Coolidge

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Overview

A treasury of the wit and wisdom of Calvin Coolidge, America's surprisingly eloquent 30th President.

You may ask "Why Coolidge?"

Everyone asks "Why Coolidge?"

We are quite used it.

Here is my sound-bite answer (or, at least, one of them): Every politician that comes down the pike, promises you four or five of the same things. He or she will cut taxes, reduce unemployment, spur growth, balance the budget, and suppress inflation. They all promise such things. They never do them--and we fall for it every time. Calvin Coolidge accomplished all of the above--and the historians say he was in office for five years and never did a damn thing. It's time to set the record straight.

"Silent Cal's Almanack" includes:

* The ultimate distillation of Calvin Coolidge political wisdom.

* A selection of Silent Cal's key speeches.

* A thought-provoking original biographical essay.

* A fascinating and unique 50-page portfolio of Coolidge photos, editorial cartoons and campaign memorabilia.

* A Coolidge timeline.

* A Coolidge bibliography.

"He wrote simply, innocently, artlessly," H. L. Mencken once noted regarding Coolidge's prose, "He forgot all the literary affectations and set down his ideas exactly as they came into his head. The result was a bald, but strangely appealing piece of writing-a composition of almost Lincolnian austerity and beauty. The true Vermonter was in every line of it."

Supreme Court Justice David Souter recently wrote of Calvin Coolidge: "The simple beauty of his English prose exceeds anything I could say in praise of it."

Feaured on the Glenn Beck Show and C-SPAN's BookTV.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438245409
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 8/19/2008
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 960,262
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

David Pietrusza has produced a number of critically-acclaimed works concerning 20th century American history. His book "1960: LBJ vs JFK vs Nixon: The Epic Campaign that Forged Three Presidencies" was named by ForeWord Magazine as among the best political biographies.
Pietrusza's "1920: The Year of the Six Presidents" received a Kirkus starred review, was honored as a Kirkus "Best Books of 2007" title, and was named an alternate selection of the History Book Club.
Historian Richard Norton Smith has listed "1920: The Year of the Six Presidents" as being among the best studies of presidential campaigns. Pietrusza's biography of Arnold Rothstein entitled "Rothstein: The Life, Times & Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series" was a finalist for the 2003 Edgar Award. Rothstein's audio version won an AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. Pietrusza's "Judge and Jury, his biography of baseball's first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis," received the 1998 CASEY Award and was also a Finalist for the 1998 Seymour Medal and nominated for the NASSH Book Award.
Pietrusza collaborated with baseball legend Ted Williams on an autobiography called "Ted Williams: My Life in Pictures."
His books have been utilized as texts by such colleges as George Washington University, the City University of New York, the University at Buffalo, Baylor University, Bellevue College, the University of Illinois, and the University of San Francisco. "1920" has been part of the syllabus for the course "Congress, The Presidency & 21st Century Media" offered by C-SPAN, The Cable Center and the University of Denver.
His talk on "Silent Cal's Almanack" is included in the curriculum for the C-SPAN Classroom initiative. Pietrusza served as president (1993-97) of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), and as editor-in-chief of the publishing company Total Sports. He has been interviewed on NPR, MSNBC, C-SPAN, ESPN, the Fox News Channel, the History Channel, EBRU-TV, and the Fox Sports Channel.
He has produced and written the PBS-affiliate documentary, "Local Heroes." Pietrusza holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in history from the University at Albany and has served on the City Council in Amsterdam, New York.
He has served as public information officer for both the NYS Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform and the NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2010

    The "quiet" president who presided over the "Roaring 20s."

    Silent Cal's Almanack
    By David Pietrusza

    A review:

    "Restricted immigration is not an offensive but purely a defensive action. It is not adopted in criticism of others in the slightest degree, but solely for the purpose of protecting ourselves. We cast no aspersions on any race or creed, but we must remember that every object of our institutions of society and government will fail unless America be kept American."
    Ref: David Pietrusza, ed., Silent Cal's Almanack, (United States: David Pietrusza, 2008, p. 70.

    This was the straight-forward observation of an American President! But not from someone you would normally have suspected. These words are not tinged with racism or hate, but logic. These words were not exclusive, but inclusive-inclusive of a nation who welcomed industrious, hard-working immigrants, but wanted them to come through the front door.

    These were the words of "Silent" Calvin Coolidge as he accepted his party's nomination for President of the United States.

    This is but one example of the "homespun wit and wisdom" of our 30th President, a man who was famous for not saying a thing and doing very little as president in the most 'roaring' and prosperous period of our nation's history-the 1920s.

    In assembling the wide array of verbal and written gems uttered by the alleged "Silent Cal," the author, David Pietrusza had ripped the veil of obscurity from the false premise that our 30th President said very little. Quite to the contrary, his brilliant ability to employ economy of words while saying something surprisingly profound, enamored another future president who would be known as "the great communicator," President Ronald Reagan!

    Pietrusza makes note that Reagan, "replaced a portrait of Harry Truman that had hung in the Cabinet room with that of Silent Cal.Reagan wrote, '(Coolidge) had been badly treated by history. I've done considerable reading and researching on his presidency. He served his country well and accomplished much.'" (Ibid, p. 4)

    In fact, as I read the numerous, categorized quotes, selected addresses, and witticisms, I could actually hear the voice of Ronald Reagan, since similar values and the principled mindset of both men were so completely complimentary to each other.

    Pietrusza introduces us to the myth of Silent Cal as described by the Joe Klein of Coolidge's day, Walter Lippmann. And the author very quickly shatters that perception with a definition of Coolidge's political philosophy that was very much "Jeffersonian" in scope where government was 'limited' and the Constitution was the supreme law of the land.

    Following a brief "Biographical Portrait" that included some highlights of the Coolidge presidency, (such as the Immigration Act of 1924, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the release of the last victims of the Wilson Administration's unconstitutional Sedition Act of 1918), Pietrusza shares a few anecdotes that describe Coolidge's penchant for subtle wit and ingenious insight disguised in the brevity of his remarks.

    Then, the author/editor takes us on a journey through the mind of our "Eloquent 30th President" as he 'speaks' to us on a myriad topics of paramount import that reverberate with essential meaning-even today! The quotes cited range from short, 3-word quips to whole paragraphs, but always with the flavor of common sense.

    For example, Coolidge realized the gravity of responsibility the office of President held in the eyes of the public and t

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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