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Warren G. Harding (The American Presidents Series)

1 rating: 4.0
2004 biography by John W. Dean and Arthur M. Schlesinger

President Nixon's former counsel illuminates another presidency marked by scandal   Warren G. Harding may be best known as America's worst president. Scandals plagued him: the Teapot Dome affair, corruption in the Veterans Bureau and the Justice … see full wiki

Author: John W. Dean
Genre: History
Publisher: Times Books
Date Published: January 7, 2004
1 review about Warren G. Harding (The American Presidents...

Sympathetic look at America's 29th President

  • Jan 5, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
When was the last time you read anything about our 29th President?  Most folks would have to admit that they have not encountered the subject since high school.  In most textbooks and indeed by most historical accounts Warren Harding was an incompetent President who was dogged by scandal.  Not so says John Dean!!!!  Dean has written a very engaging little book that takes yet another look at Warren Harding's brief Presidency.  According to Dean, history has been quite unfair to the man.  Using recently unearthed documents previously thought to have been destroyed, Dean portrays Harding as a personally engaging fellow and a predominately centrist President.  Alas, he was betrayed by several of his appointees, most notably Interior Secretary Albert Fall and an old chum from Ohio, the Attorney General William Dougherty.  But Harding died just as the Teapot Dome scandal began to erupt.  He was not around to defend himself but there appears to be precious little evidence that Harding was directly involved in the scandals in any way.  Is this just revisionist history?  Hard to say.  But John Dean is quite convincing in his presentation.  I am compelled to read more about Harding before reaching any final conclusions. If you are a history buff who has not yet partaken of any of the books in Arthur Schlesinger's American Presidents Series you a doing yourself a serious disservice. I have read a few of them now and they are all top notch!!!

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January 05, 2009
This is very interesting! The only thing I remember from Harding is that he was involved in the Teapot Dome scandal, which, according to our textbook, made him the most corrupt president in US History. But you're right, he didn't have much of an opportunity to defend himself at all. I should take a look at this and see what else I can find about him! Thanks!
 
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