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Calvin Coolidge

By David Greenberg

Henry Holt
American Presidents Series

Henry Holt/Times Books
2006 / hardcover/
ISBN 0805069577


5 ½" x 8 ¼" / 224 pages / History

 

Coolidge book

Buy Calvin Coolidge from Amazon

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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.

“A precise and objective record of Coolidge's long political career.” – Publishers Weekly

“Greenberg has done an admirable job. He captures the character and achievements of this odd president, who seems at first sight to have been so out of tune with his times -- Coolidge certainly did not "roar" with the Roaring '20s -- but who was in fact … the still center about which the charivari of Jazz Age America whirled.” -- John Derbyshire, Wall Street Journal

“Intelligently even-handed.” -- Booklist

“Penetrating analysis … Engaging and thoroughly researched.” – Library Journal

 

Cold Fusion: History Suggests an Obama-Clinton Ticket Could Work,” Slate, May 22, 2008 .

Tribe of Scribes.” Review of White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters , by Robert Schlesinger, Washington Post , May 18, 2008 .

The Age of Reagan.” Review of The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008, by Sean Wilentz, Los Angeles Times , May 18, 2008 .

Double Negative: The Return of Doughface Liberalism,” The New Republic, April 9, 2008 .

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Unplugged.” Review of Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America , by Allen C. Guelzo, Slate, April 7, 2008 .

The Long Goodbye: It’s Too Early to Talk About Hillary’s Withdrawal,” Slate, March 5, 2008 .

Zealots of Our Time.” Review of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, by Jacob Heilbrunn, American Prospect, March, 2008.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Speeches,” New York Times, February 24, 2008 .

Memo to Obama Fans: The Clinton Presidency Was Not a Failure,” Slate, February 12, 2008 .

R, North Carolina.” Review of Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism, by William A. Link, New York Times Book Review, February 10, 2008 .

Why Obamamania? Because He Runs as the Great White Hope,” Washington Post , January 13, 2008 .

More

 

“Media and Conservative Politics in Postwar America : A Response,” Policy History Conference , St. Louis University , St. Louis , MO , May 30, 2008 .

“Red vs. Blue—or Purple: Is America Really Polarized?,” at the symposium, “ The Hyperpartisan Era in Washington: Can Federal Bipartisanship Be Revived?” The New School, New York , NY , May 28, 2008 .

“Paths out of Dixie: A Response,” comment at the 20 th Century Politics and Society Workshop, Columbia University, New York, NY, April 17, 2008.

“George W. Bush and the War on Expertise,” for the conference “The Presidency of George W. Bush in Historical Perspective,” Princeton University , Princeton , NJ , April 12, 2008 .

“The Spinning of the President, 2008,” keynote address at the conference “Freedom of the Press,” St. Peter’s College, Jersey City , NJ , April 10, 2008 .

“Learning from Presidential Debates,” for the conference “The 2008 Road to the White House,” Hofstra University , Hempstead , NY , April 3, 2008 .

“History on the Internet,” talk at the conference “Comparing, Editing, Translating: Periodicals and Interdisciplinarity Today,” Institute for Comparative Literature and Society Annual Conference , Columbia University, New York, NY, March 28, 2008.

Calvin Coolidge’s Legacy,” National Archives, Washington DC , February 13, 2008 .

History in 1200 Words: Dumbing Down vs. Smarting Up,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC , January 6, 2008 .

Redefining Liberalism in the 1980s,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC , January 4, 2008 .

 

Also of Interest

Calvin Coolidge & The 1920s
Coolidge at American President
Coolidge Conference at Kennedy Library
Coolidge Memorial Foundation
Forbes Library
Karl Gittelman