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The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in His Times

por Francis Russell

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Very thorough biography. Harding's early life came off as fairly tedious (probably because it was), but once the elections began, the story picked up. I prefer biographies with pictures, so I can visualize the characters better, so that was my only complaint about this book. ( )
  tloeffler | Feb 27, 2017 |
Perhaps Warren G. Harding wasn’t such a bad president after all. The Shadow of Blooming Grove , written several years ago, is a wonderful biography of the man who added the word “normalcy” to the English language and fathered a child in a closet of the White House. Harding has traditionally been considered one of the worst presidents. The “Teapot Dome Scandal,” “smoke-filled rooms” where deals were cut, and the “Ohio Gang” of politicians that placed personal gain over the country’s welfare have long been associated with this very popular man who died mysteriously in 1923.

Harding himself was an honest, likable, former newspaper publisher who embodied small-town virtues but few of the small-town vices. His administration also made some significant contributions including the creation of the Bureau of the Budget, reduction of the national debt and a 1922 Naval Disarmament Conference that became the first arms reduction talks in history. He was applauded by civil libertarians when he pardoned Eugene Debs, he appointed more blacks to office than most of his predecessors, and his speech on race and opposing lynching was hailed by black nationalist Marcus Garvey as “one of the greatest statements of the present day.”

Harding died before he could defend his reputation against charges stemming from the leasing of federal oil reserves by the secretary of the interior who made a personal fortune. Coolidge won the 1924 election by attacking Harding and many of the charges were repeated by historians who labeled him a symbol of greed in a self-indulgent era. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
A shame that Francis Russell was unable to use the love letters sent by Harding to Carrie Fulton Phillips. Still, a very useful work for those interested in Warren G. Harding and his administration. ( )
  MsMixte | Jan 25, 2013 |
1012 The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in His Times, by Francis Russell (read 4 Jul 1969) I found this biography of Harding extremely interesting--damning enough so that it was devourable. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jul 9, 2009 |
This was really well done. There was a lot of potentially boring information presented in a very readable style. I may go out and look for another book by Mr. Russell. Had I met Mr. Harding, I may not have liked him much but, if we believe Mr. Russell, he was not a bad man. He was nothing much more or less than he told everyone himself; nice enough but with limitations. ( )
  gmillar | Jun 16, 2007 |
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