Amity Shlaes's Coolidge PDF

Biography

By Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes, writer of The Forgotten guy, offers an excellent and provocative reexamination of America’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, and the last decade of exceptional development that the country loved below his management. during this riveting biography, Shlaes lines Coolidge’s unbelievable upward thrust from a tiny city in New England to a formative years so unpopular he used to be close out of faculty fraternities at Amherst university up via Massachusetts politics. After a divisive interval of presidency extra and corruption, Coolidge restored nationwide belief in Washington and accomplished what few different peacetime presidents have: He left place of work with a federal finances smaller than the only he inherited. a guy of calm self-discipline, he lived via instance, renting half a two-family condominium for his whole political profession instead of compromise his political paintings by means of taking over debt. popular as a throwback, Coolidge used to be in reality strikingly modern—an recommend of women’s suffrage and a radio pioneer. immediately a revision of guy and economics, Coolidge gestures to the rustic we as soon as have been and reminds us of traits we had forgotten and will use this present day.

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I was fortunate in finding good companions in Richard Hutton, William Roscoe and a distant cousin Timothy Smith Osler, who shared my pleasure in debate and ideas. indd 25 02/05/13 6:27 PM t h e m e m o i r s o f wa lt e r b a g e h o t plastic energy is not in tutors or lectures or in books ‘got up’, but in Wordsworth and Shelley, in the writings everyone reads and everyone admires. In the argumentative walk or disputatious lounge—fresh thought on fresh thought—in mirth and refutation—in ridicule and laughter—one enjoys the free play of the mind, which is rarely found outside a college.

A respectable Englishman murmured in the Café de Paris, ‘I wish I had a hunch of mutton’. He could not bear the secondary niceties with which he was surrounded. Our politics has the same principle. We excel in simple realities, in solid food. A proper stupidity keeps a man from all the defects of cleverness; it chains the gifted possessor mainly to his old ideas. It takes him weeks to comprehend an atom of a new one; it keeps him from being led away by new theories. He is slow indeed to be excited—his passions, his feelings and his affections are dull and tardy, fixed on a certain known object, acting in a moderate degree and at a sluggish pace.

I was full of it for a day or two, and remember it still as if it were yesterday. Never had I such a distinct notion of the greatness of London as when I came out of the meeting and saw how little interest this great event seemed to excite among the distracted throngs in the nearby streets. It provided a political lesson of the first magnitude. I had been reading Carlyle’s French Revolution at the time. Political science is a hard subject, but Carlyle’s rejection of all the common expedients struck me as strangely fascinating.

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