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James Buchanan: The American Presidents…
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James Buchanan: The American Presidents Series: The 15th President,… (original 2004; udgave 2004)

af Jean H. Baker (Forfatter), Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (Redaktør)

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2077102,347 (3.35)23
A look at the presidency of James Buchanan, whose administration paved the way for the onslaught of the Civil War, details his failures as a president, including his lack of compromise and his weak leadership in a time of national crisis.
Medlem:hellbent
Titel:James Buchanan: The American Presidents Series: The 15th President, 1857-1861
Forfattere:Jean H. Baker (Forfatter)
Andre forfattere:Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (Redaktør)
Info:Times Books (2004), Edition: 1, 192 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:***1/2
Nøgleord:American history, history

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James Buchanan af Jean H. Baker (2004)

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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
Briefly summarizes the case for the conclusion that Buchanan was indeed, as often supposed, the worst US President prior to 2001. In contrast to his predecessors he not only failed through omission to take the steps that would have avoided the Civil War, but acts of commission (the collusion with Taney in the Dred Scott case was only the most notorious example) were so wrong that they made the war inevitable. Recommended. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
An excellent, brief biography of the worst president in US history, and nearly a traitor at that. ( )
  dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
This short work is a part of the American Presidents series of short biographies of our nation’s chief executives, and while I understand the concept, and can make allowance for the comparative obscurity of the subject in this case, 150 pages is simply not much book.

I wouldn’t recommend the American Presidents series for Presidents such as Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, either Roosevelt or most of the Presidents in the 20th century. However, for many of the 19th century Presidents, 200 pages of material will contain about all the material you need to know about Presidents such as Pierce, Tyler, Buchanan, Arthur, Garfield, Van Buren, Fillmore, Hayes, etc.

Buchanan is routinely ranked among the least effective of U. S. Presidents. The antebellum triumvirate of Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan routinely join Harding and Nixon at the bottom of most lists. In some ways, Pierce and Buchanan were handicapped by the looming Civil War and the issues involved made a successful presidency unlikely. It is no coincidence that three of the most maligned U.S. Presidents are the three immediately preceding the War, as if their actions precipitated the War and that others in their position might have somehow avoided it.

Surprisingly, Buchanan was one of the most well prepared and experienced candidates to ever win the Presidency. He served several terms in the House of Representatives and the Senate, before serving as Secretary of State and Ambassador to both Russia and England. His policies toward Kansas statehood and the events leading up to the Civil War revealed him to be an ardent southern sympathizer and slavery apologist. As a result, he was unable to generate any support from either the Republican politicians or even northern Democrats. His tacit approval of South Carolina’s secession, not only made the War inevitable (which it probably was anyway), but in some cases bordered on treason.

Certainly, the life of James Buchanan and the events of his presidency would easily support a longer biography, but at the end of the day, who wants to read about James Buchanan? ( )
1 stem santhony | Jun 20, 2018 |
Short biography, straight to the point. Seems to be objective portrait of the very unsuccessful president. It's kind of tragedy since he was a capable administrator and politician but totally lacked a good judgement while in Oval office. This together with stubbornness ensured a tragical consequences for the country. It seems that if a more reasonable and pragmatic president was in his place then the war could have been avoided. It's widely and in my opinion undeservedly accepted that his predecessors, such as Millard Fillmore, are failed presidents. If Fillmore have been in the office around Buchanan's time we could have avoided the war. ( )
1 stem everfresh1 | Oct 26, 2014 |
I picked up this book at the bookstore last week because I had just finished the section in McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom that dealt with the time during Buchanan’s presidency and I wanted to know more about the man. Although I did learn more about his life and his career before he became president I found this biography not to be as helpful as I had hoped it would.

No one is going to dispute that Buchanan was one of the worst—maybe even the worst—president we have had. However, Baker wrote her work as if she were afraid he might rise again and run for public office and she wanted to be very sure that no one would vote for him. Often her language bordered on vitriolic. Sometimes even in areas where he is acknowledged to have been somewhat successful she managed to convey the feeling that it was not because of his ability but either because he was well advised or someone else was incompetent and made him look good. Her descriptions of him would also change according to the point she was trying to make. Before he became president she described him as being indecisive, unable to make up his mind, and relying on others to guide him, especially if he did something right. Later she describes him as “…a strong president intent on having his own way, surrounded by advisers who agreed with him.” It seems if things went well it is because he followed good advice and when things went badly it’s because he wouldn’t take advice. Perhaps that is true. But he had a reputation as a competent office holder for many years before his debacle as president. He must have had some redeeming traits. If McCullough, in his biography of John Adams, errs on the side of being too fond of him, at least he has no hesitation in pointing out his flaws and his mistakes. Baker errs on the side of so detesting Buchanan that she can find nothing about him that she can praise.

I would recommend if you want a more balanced view of Buchanan read what McPherson says in Battle Cry of Freedom. ( )
1 stem MusicMom41 | Apr 23, 2009 |
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On November 4, 1856, Americans chose James Buchanan, an experienced politician and diplomat, as their fifteenth president. (Introduction)
The president is the central player in the American political order.
Born in 1791, James Buchanan was almost as old as the United States, a point of pride throughout his life.
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A look at the presidency of James Buchanan, whose administration paved the way for the onslaught of the Civil War, details his failures as a president, including his lack of compromise and his weak leadership in a time of national crisis.

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