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The Accidental President: Chester A. Arthur

af John M. Pafford

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1521,324,505 (2.67)Ingen
Chester Alan Arthur, surely our unlikeliest president, may have been saved from complete obscurity only by the mutton-chop whiskers that stand out among the full-bearded visages of late-nineteenth-century presidents. But as this highly readable portrait of Arthur and his age reveals, dutys unexpected call turned the quintessential patronage politician into a statesman who skillfully guided Americas first steps on the road to becoming a world power. No one is likely to follow Arthurs path to the White House again. A product of the spoils system that once governed the federal civil service, Arthur had been rewarded for his loyalty to the Republican machine with the most lucrative patronage position in the countrycustoms collector of the Port of New York. And though his career was cut short by a fatal disease diagnosed after his first year in office, his quiet prudence and devotion to duty earned him the respect of his contemporaries and an honored place among American presidents.… (mere)
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I agree with comments made by other reviewers that the book was more about the times and the events during Chester Arthur’s presidency then about Arthur and how he handled the presidency. There were no major political crises or major world events that Arthur had to confront. He rebuilt the navy and made efforts to clean up the civil service. It was interesting that he had to make decisions about Chinese immigration. Reminds me of the current situation with Mexican immigration into the United States.

Arthur had significant health issues that he was able to overcome while president. He died shortly after he left office. Relatively thin book, a little over 180 pages. Arthur seem to run a caretaker Administration. No major achievements… No major errors. ( )
  writemoves | Oct 26, 2021 |
Over reaches in its attempt to portray as a good president who heroically overcame his background. Short on some details, while there are sections and even chapters that a hardly mention Arthur at all. ( )
  gregdehler | Oct 31, 2019 |
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Chester Alan Arthur, surely our unlikeliest president, may have been saved from complete obscurity only by the mutton-chop whiskers that stand out among the full-bearded visages of late-nineteenth-century presidents. But as this highly readable portrait of Arthur and his age reveals, dutys unexpected call turned the quintessential patronage politician into a statesman who skillfully guided Americas first steps on the road to becoming a world power. No one is likely to follow Arthurs path to the White House again. A product of the spoils system that once governed the federal civil service, Arthur had been rewarded for his loyalty to the Republican machine with the most lucrative patronage position in the countrycustoms collector of the Port of New York. And though his career was cut short by a fatal disease diagnosed after his first year in office, his quiet prudence and devotion to duty earned him the respect of his contemporaries and an honored place among American presidents.

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