Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chester Alan Arthur

by Zachary Karabell

This one's a small biography about a small president. Chester Alan Arthur was a man of little ambition who happened to be an able lieutenant in the Republican political machine of the 1870s. Through no fault of his own, he was given the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination in 1880. He was elected with James Garfield and when the latter was assassinated months later, he found himself President of the United States. To hear Mr. Karabell tell it, Arthur was "neither great, nor terrible, nor remarkable" as president. He simply did the job as best he could in a time of relative social "calm and prosperity". As biographies go, this book is a bit lighter than I prefer to read, but it was the best complete biography the local libraries had to offer. While I didn't get a good picture of the times Chester Arthur lived through, I did get a competent picture of the man himself and his term in the White House.

Check it out.
LibraryThing link

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