by Amity Shlaes
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Coolidge by Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man, delivers a brilliant and provocative reexamination of America’s thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge, and the decade of unparalleled growth that the nation enjoyed under his leadership. In this riveting biography, Shlaes traces Coolidge’s improbable rise from a tiny town in New England to a youth so unpopular he was shut out of college fraternities at Amherst College up through Massachusetts politics. After a divisive period of government excess and corruption, Coolidge restored national trust in Washington and achieved what few other peacetime presidents have: He left office with a federal budget smaller than the one he inherited. A man of calm discipline, he lived by example, renting half of a two-family house for his entire political career rather than compromise his political work by taking on debt. Renowned as a throwback, Coolidge was in fact strikingly modern—an advocate of women’s suffrage and a radio pioneer. At once a revision of man and economics, Coolidge gestures to the country we once were and reminds us of qualities we had forgotten and can use today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061967559
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Pages: 565
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Amity Shlaes writes a column for Forbes and serves as the chairman of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Coolidge, The Forgotten Man, and The Greedy Hand. She chairs the jury for the Hayek Book Prize of the Manhattan Institute. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Coolidge 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Sean_Dillon_II More than 1 year ago
Received the book yesterday. Loving it. May finish this weekend or early next week. So many solutions to modern problems in this thing.
2silverspurs More than 1 year ago
The current administration should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Timely book that that dispells some myths about Coolidge and his life. I enjoyed it.
pepRP More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again she's quietly given us a stunner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
caesar More than 1 year ago
This biography of Coolidge is very well written and very insightful. To bad he did not have a second term.
Anonymous 27 days ago
Extremely informative and well written. I now have a tremendous respect of President Calvin Coolidge. He was an american treasure. He was brilliant and wise in his frugality and simplicity. A man of his character is hard to find.
BrianIndianFan More than 1 year ago
Calvin Coolidge is not a president that rolls off the tongue or the keyboard of historians when discussing presidents. Presidents should be judged against the times when they served so as to give an indication of their success or failure. As an example, James Buchanan can justifiably be considered America's worst president due to his inaction and currying of southern favor in the late 1850s which led to the Civil War. By contrast, "Silent Cal" was a man of quiet integrity and thrift who used those qualities in leadership positions. Coolidge started out humbly enough, needing time at a finishing school in order to gain admission to Amherst University and then not be socially sophisticated enough to enter the Greek system until his oratory gained him admission. He read the law rather than go to law school - mostly for monetary reasons - and basically started working the neighborhoods to get elected and start his political career. In his time as Massachusetts governor, he was forced to deal with the rise of labor unions during the Boston police strike. With the rise of the IWW (Wobblies) and Samuel Gompers, Coolidge's principled stand against the union was a stark contrast to the political game-playing of President Wilson. Added to the 1920 GOP ticket as a counterweight to Warren G. Harding, Coolidge found himself less than 2 years later occupying the Oval Office. In this regard, he treated the office with respect and regarded it as an act of service to the country. Shlaes - who previously wrote "The Forgotten Man" to deal with the 1930s - shows that Coolidge painted a presidential picture with equal parts quintessential American values with acceptance of new technology (radio, airplanes, and the widespread use of cars). His principled positions against federal flood relief for both the south and his native Vermont earned him much criticism, but it derived from his belief in smaller federal government. Shlaes' narrative proceeds briskly, but sometimes trips itself up by failing to call back to who many of Coolidge's friends are. As such, many get lost in the shuffle. Overall, it is not enough to earn it any demerits. BOTTOM LINE: An excellent recap of the life of our 30th president.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As boring as Silent Cal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After the excitement of World War I, the controversy over the Versailles Treaty and then the "normalcy" of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge was a breath of fresh air for America.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading a biography on each president and this is as well written and as informative as any other I have read
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robertlockwoodmills More than 1 year ago
Amity Schlaes writes with a pro-Coolidge bias, but nonetheless succeeds in presenting the man as his contemporaries saw him...not as most historians do today. Coolidge believed in balanced budgets, low taxes, and minimal governmental interference in business. In that regard, he was a role model for Ronald Reagan. But Ms. Schlaes convinces the reader that a preference for laissez-faire economics didn't explain Coolidge's popularity with the voters. Rather, it was his work ethic and dedication to public service. Coolidge was a dinosaur by comparison to 21st century politicans, who use their power for self-enrichment. Even in 1920 a man who believed in public service for its own sake enjoyed public acclaim far out of proportion to his diffident manner and lack of verbosity. If Ms. Schlaes can be faulted, it is for ignoring Coolidge's peccadilloes...his tendency to embarrass his wife through biting humor, his resentment toward Herbert Hoover, and his unwillingness to give voice to his (correct) belief that in 1929 the country was headed for economic disaster. On balance, a very fine treatment of a much misunderstood public figure.
Eros-Ashima More than 1 year ago
Fascinating look at an era and a presidency I knew very little about. Since  I am particularly interested in Massachusetts history, Coolidge's rise through the ranks to the highest office was quite inspiring.
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