Discover Free Books That You'll Love!
Receive unbeatable eBook deals in your favorite fiction or non-fiction genres. Our daily emails are packed with new and bestselling authors you will love!

 

Amazon Kindle  Kobo  Nook  Google  Audible  Apple iBooks
Book cover of William McKinley (American Presidents Series)

William McKinley (American Presidents Series)

by Kevin Phillips, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Pages: 208
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805069532






Available to Buy

Overview of William McKinley (American Presidents Series)

A bestselling historian and political commentator reconsiders McKinley's overshadowed legacy

By any serious measurement, bestselling historian Kevin Phillips argues, William McKinley was a major American president. It was during his administration that the United States made its diplomatic and military debut as a world power. McKinley was one of eight presidents who, either in the White House or on the battlefield, stood as principals in successful wars, and he was among the six or seven to take office in what became recognized as a major realignment of the U.S. party system.

Phillips, author of Wealth and Democracy and The Cousins' War, has long been fascinated with McKinley in the context of how the GOP began each of its cycles of power. He argues that McKinley's lackluster ratings have been sustained not by unjust biographers but by years of criticism about his personality, indirect methodologies, middle-class demeanor, and tactical inability to inspire the American public. In this powerful and persuasive biography, Phillips musters convincing evidence that McKinley's desire to heal, renew prosperity, and reunite the country qualify him for promotion into the ranks of the best chief executives.

Synopsis of William McKinley (American Presidents Series)

A bestselling historian and political commentator reconsiders McKinley's overshadowed legacy

By any serious measurement, bestselling historian Kevin Phillips argues, William McKinley was a major American president. It was during his administration that the United States made its diplomatic and military debut as a world power. McKinley was one of eight presidents who, either in the White House or on the battlefield, stood as principals in successful wars, and he was among the six or seven to take office in what became recognized as a major realignment of the U.S. party system.

Phillips, author of Wealth and Democracy and The Cousins' War, has long been fascinated with McKinley in the context of how the GOP began each of its cycles of power. He argues that McKinley's lackluster ratings have been sustained not by unjust biographers but by years of criticism about his personality, indirect methodologies, middle-class demeanor, and tactical inability to inspire the American public. In this powerful and persuasive biography, Phillips musters convincing evidence that McKinley's desire to heal, renew prosperity, and reunite the country qualify him for promotion into the ranks of the best chief executives.

The New York Times

Focusing on the last election of the 19th century, Kevin Phillips offers a vigorous reassessment of the neglected 25th president, William McKinley. Rather than a narrative of McKinley's life, this is a study of his strategies and successes, a subtle and relevant political parable.—Allen D. Boyer

About the Author, Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips, author of Wealth and Democracy, The Cousins’ War, and Arrogant

Capital, is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post and is a commentator for CBS and National Public Radio.

Reviews of William McKinley (American Presidents Series)

There are no reviews yet. Perhaps you can add one!

Editorials

The New York Times

Focusing on the last election of the 19th century, Kevin Phillips offers a vigorous reassessment of the neglected 25th president, William McKinley. Rather than a narrative of McKinley's life, this is a study of his strategies and successes, a subtle and relevant political parable.—Allen D. Boyer

Publishers Weekly

Every president probably deserves his apologist. Here, William McKinley, president from 1897 until his assassination in 1901, gets his. Phillips (Wealth and Democracy), a skilled political writer who foresaw the "the emerging Republican majority" of 1968, was an inspired choice of Arthur Schlesinger Jr., editor of the American Presidents series, to write about this chief executive who, Phillips says, also represented a new Republican alignment. The author makes about as good a case as possible for what he terms a "near great," "hinge" president whose administration prefigured so much in modern politics and policy. McKinley emerges as a strong Ohio governor and decisive president whose stern mien hid a thoughtful, even gentle, side. A Civil War veteran and Lincoln Republican, he presided over the emergence of the U.S. as a world power in the Spanish-American War, and his election in 1896 ushered in roughly 40 years of Republican political dominance. Still, it's a bit far-fetched to present McKinley as a "tribune of the people," who should get credit for many of the more progressive policies pursued by his successor, Theodore Roosevelt. What's more, the strained, clotted words that occasionally interrupt otherwise lively prose suggest too hasty writing and editing. Unlike authors of other volumes in this series, Phillips wastes space telling us what other historians have written about McKinley and arguing with many of them. But one can't fail to come away from this book with deeper knowledge of a critical moment in American governance and a warmer appreciation for a man who Phillips insists has gotten a bum rap. This little work of rehabilitation should help set McKinley's reputation right. (Sept. 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Foreign Affairs

Nobody knows the history of American politics like Phillips, and William McKinley, his contribution to the Times Books series of short lives of American presidents, is Phillips at his best. Phillips believes that McKinley has been given short shrift by historians, and he makes a good case. A meticulous and thoughtful analysis of McKinley's rise to power through post-Civil War Ohio politics combines with a close reading of McKinley's presidency to give him much of the credit for the progressive revolution in the Republican Party. The real merit of this book, however, lies in its portrait of policymaking and politics in late-nineteenth-century America. Phillips seems to know the ethnic makeup, voting record, and economic concerns of every precinct in Ohio and every state in the Union. An unmatched ability to link retail politics with great public issues and broad economic trends gives Phillips extraordinary insight into the making of the American past. Thanks to universal manhood (and, already in some states, universal adult) suffrage and the decentralized nature of the political system, nineteenth-century American politics was a complex and sensitive barometer of changing public sentiment about the economy and the United States' place in the world. Phillips is one of a handful of scholars who can treat both the American past and the American present with authority; this book will strengthen his already formidable reputation even more than it will help McKinley's.

Library Journal

Poor William McKinley gets little respect as America's 25th president (1897-1901). A puppet of Wall Street and campaign manager of Mark Hanna during the Gilded Age, he is merely ranked as one of the top average presidents. Here, political analyst Phillips (Emerging Republican Majority) attempts to save the martyred commander in chief from blinded ingrates. Based on accounts by revisionist historians, his critique is less a biography than a lawyer's brief to upgrade McKinley's reputation. In his heart, Phillips is convinced that McKinley would have been a great president if his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, had not stolen the show after the assassination. Phillips pleads for a near-great ranking. Doubtless, McKinley was a genuinely nice guy and a highly popular figure, yet his "hidden hand" executive approach was undercut by the bolder vision of the multitalented Teddy. Nonetheless, this is a lively and readable defense of McKinley that will enjoy popular appeal. Recommended for public libraries and presidential collections.-William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

An engaging life of the stoical Buckeye politician, whom Phillips (Wealth and Democracy, 2002, etc.) reckons to be "an upright and effective president of the solid second rank." Faint praise, perhaps. But considering other second-rank presidents from the middle class (Nixon, Reagan, Clinton), and even considering some of the first tier, William McKinley looks better and better as the years roll on. As Phillips--an eminent political historian and biographer, and one of the best in the business--points out, McKinley was a "hinge president," whose first term ushered in the 20th century, who "presided over the fruition of the Northern or Yankee version of U.S. expansionism, a commercial manifest destiny tied to increasing American exports." Which sounds rather like the current rush to globalism, and, as Phillips observes, latter GOP operative Karl Rove has lately taken to pointing to McKinley’s "realignment" of the Republican Party toward progressivism and free trade as a model for his modern counterparts--while, as Phillips also adds, carefully ignoring the fact that McKinley believed in laying tax burdens squarely on the rich, embraced organized labor, used American military force (against Spain, in his time) only reluctantly, and rejected "the national party influence and patronage demands of the Eastern state GOP machine leaders." Phillips, who clearly and understandably admires McKinley, charts his rise from a staff officer during the Civil War (during which his habits of careful study and preparation served his senior officers well) to local-level politician to well-liked national figure--and finally to martyr, McKinley having been assassinated in 1901 by what his official biographydeems "a deranged anarchist." In all his roles, Phillips observes, McKinley labored earnestly to achieve consensus, arriving at a moderate platform that his vice president and successor, Theodore Roosevelt, carried on, and so effectively that Phillips views the two presidencies as a single continuum. An instructive, graceful look at a neglected presidency.

Available to Buy

Follow Us