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.
?Of course it would be folly to argue that the people cannot make political mistakes. They can and do make grave mistakes. They know it, they pay the penalty, but compared with the mistakes which have been made by every kind of autocracy they are unimportant. Oftentimes the inconvenience and loss fall on the innocent. This is all a part of the price of freedom. Unless the people struggle to help themselves, no one else will or can help them. It is out of such struggle that there comes the strongest evidence of their true independence and nobility, and there is struck off a rough and incomplete economic justice, and there develops a strong and rugged national character. It represents a spirit for which there could be no substitute. It justifies the claim that they are worthy to be free.? Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge was a popular president who led the nation from 1923 to 1929. He believed in cutting taxes and reducing national debt. A quiet man, Coolidge seemed an unlikely commander in chief. He fell into the role when President Harding-under whom Coolidge served as vice president-died of a heart attack. In spite of his shyness, Coolidge was the first president to make wide use of the media. He held frequent press conferences and made the first radio broadcast to the American people from the White House. During his presidency, Coolidge suffered through the death of his teenage son. In 1927 he took everyone by surprise by announcing that he would not seek another term as president.
The American Presidents Series: The 30th President, 1923-1929
Author: David Greenberg
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The austere president who presided over the Roaring Twenties and whose conservatism masked an innovative approach to national leadership He was known as "Silent Cal." Buttoned up and tight-lipped, Calvin Coolidge seemed out of place as the leader of a nation plunging headlong into the modern era. His six years in office were a time of flappers, speakeasies, and a stock market boom, but his focus was on cutting taxes, balancing the federal budget, and promoting corporate productivity. "The chief business of the American people is business," he famously said. But there is more to Coolidge than the stern capitalist scold. He was the progenitor of a conservatism that would flourish later in the century and a true innovator in the use of public relations and media. Coolidge worked with the top PR men of his day and seized on the rising technologies of newsreels and radio to bring the presidency into the lives of ordinary Americans—a path that led directly to FDR's "fireside chats" and the expert use of television by Kennedy and Reagan. At a time of great upheaval, Coolidge embodied the ambivalence that many of his countrymen felt. America kept "cool with Coolidge," and he returned the favor.
In the first full-scale biography of Calvin Coolidge in a generation, Robert Sobel shatters the caricature of our thirtieth president as a silent, do-nothing leader. Sobel instead exposes the real Coolidge, whose legacy as the most Jeffersonian of all twentieth century presidents still reverberates today.
"Provides comprehensive information on President Calvin Coolidge and places him within his historical and cultural context. Also explored are the formative events of his times and how he responded"--Provided by publisher.
This book introduces young readers to the life of Grace Coolidge, beginning with her childhood in Burlington, Vermont. Readers will become familiar with her outgoing personality as they learn about her early career as a teacher at the famed Clarke School in Northampton, Massachussetts, and her marriage to Calvin Coolidge. Details of Mrs. CoolidgeÍs time as First Lady, including her reputation as a hostess, are also discussed. Informative sidebars and full-color photos accompany easy-to-read, engaging text. Includes timeline, fun facts, index, and glossary.