Thursday, April 05, 2012

Grover Cleveland: A Study in Character

by Alyn Brodsky

This is not a bad biography of our 22nd and 24th president. It's a bit light on the coverage of his pre-presidential life, but Mr. Brodsky provides enough information to reveal Cleveland's character as he progresses from lawyer to mayor to governor to president. That character, according to this book, is one of integrity during a time when that quality was sorely lacking in Washington. What struck me about the era was it seemed to be the time when the Democratic party transitioned from being the conservative, lassiez faire party to that of the working man. (Well, the white immigrant working man, anyway.) (Mr. Brodsky mostly glosses over the racism of the day, addressing it in a couple of appendices.) One interesting thing about Mr. Brodsky's style is that he doesn't always keep within the "story" of Cleveland's life. He'll often refer to similar situations later in Cleveland's career or even events in the 20th century, showing either how some things have changed or how other things tend to repeat themselves. It's not something I've noticed other biographers doing. It was a bit odd, perhaps even annoying, at first, but eventually I began to appreciate it.

Go ahead and check it out.
LibraryThing link

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