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In contrast to standard histories, which dismiss Harrison’s presidency as corrupt and inactive, Charles W. Calhoun sweeps away the stereotypes of the age to reveal the accomplishments of our twenty-third president. With Congress under Republican control, he exemplified the activist president, working feverishly to put the Party’s planks into law and approving the first billion-dollar peacetime budget. But the Democrats won Congress in 1890, stalling his legislative agenda, and with the First Lady ill, his race for reelection proceeded quietly. (She died just before the election.) In the end, Harrison could not beat Cleveland in their unprecedented rematch.
Benjamin Harrison was an early proponent of American expansion in the Pacific, a key figure in such landmark legislation as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the McKinley Tariff, and one of the Gilded Age’s most eloquent speakers. Yet he remains one of our most neglected and least understood presidents. In this first interpretive study of the Harrison administration, the authors illuminate our twenty-third president’s character and policies and rescue him from the long shadow of his charismatic secretary of state, James G. Blaine.
Benjamin Harrison was an honest, intelligent, hardworking lawyer who became the 23rd President of the US. During his term in office, he signed important legislation and provided leadership in negotiating foreign policy. This book presents a biography of this president who is considered one of the better presidents of the late 19th century.
It is not the purpose of this book to present a few selections of oratory, laboriously prepared and polished, or occasional flashes of brilliant thought. From such efforts, prepared, perhaps, after days of study and repeated revision, one can form but an imperfect idea of their author. Such a compilation might show the highest conceptions of the man, and evidence a wide range of thought and a surpassing grandeur of expression; but it would be but a poor mirror of the man himself in his daily life.