Friday, August 16, 2013

William McKinley and His America

by H. Wayne Morgan

I found this 1963 biography of William McKinley to be somewhat tedious at the outset. Professor Morgan covered all of the major details of McKinley's early life, military service and political career, but I found it rather dull. It's not until the late 1880s that McKinley's story caught my interest. Perhaps it's because the issues of McKinley's congressional career--the tariff and the currency--are not issues I care much about. Or perhaps it's because Professor Morgan only had 530 pages and wanted to focus on the presidential years. If so, I can't blame him. The political scene of the 1890s, as presented in the book, reminded me of that of the 1850s as presented in the Buchanan biography I read. There was a generational change as the United States became an industrial and global power. McKinley seemed to handle the transition better than Buchanan did, but he certainly felt some growing pains while doing so.

Check it out.
LibraryThing link

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