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Garfield This first full scale biography of our twentieth president in over fifty years reflects not only a renewal of interest in Garfield the man as the centennial of his inauguration nears but in the Gilde

  • Title: Garfield
  • Author: Allan Peskin
  • ISBN: 9780873382106
  • Page: 469
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This first full scale biography of our twentieth president in over fifty years reflects not only a renewal of interest in Garfield the man as the centennial of his inauguration nears, but in the Gilded Age of American politics in which he played so influential a role Moving from the battlefield to Congress before the end of the Civil War, Garfield had a hand in almost eveThis first full scale biography of our twentieth president in over fifty years reflects not only a renewal of interest in Garfield the man as the centennial of his inauguration nears, but in the Gilded Age of American politics in which he played so influential a role Moving from the battlefield to Congress before the end of the Civil War, Garfield had a hand in almost everything of national importance for two decades, the years of peace, Reconstruction, and industrialization As a party leader he, along with his friend James G Blaine, forged the modern Republican Party into the instrument which would lead the United States into the twentieth century, and though his presidency was cut short by an assassin s bullet, he succeeded in rescuing the office from the shadows of Johnson and Grant, elevated it above the Congress, and began the accretion of presidential power that has lasted to our own day.To the public James A Garfield was a beloved nineteenth century success story, the self made man climbing from poverty to national leader, the last of the log cabin presidents But the man behind the public portrait was much complex, even contradictory He was a pacifist turned soldier, an educator turned politician, a preacher turned economist, a man of essentially literary tastes cast in the role of party chieftain Continually racked by self doubts, he nevertheless was so convinced of his destiny that he never actively sought any office and never lost an election.Allan Peskin s masterful biography combines the public and the private Garfield in a smooth flowing narrative that will fascinate the general reader as well as enlighten the scholar The Garfield story includes the account of the Ohio canal boy who worked his way through college and later became president of that same Hiram College It is the story of the minister who led Union troops through a blundering campaign in the Kentucky wilderness and emerged a national hero and a general It is the romance of the diffident husband who, some time after the wedding and somewhat to his surprise, fell in love with his wife It is the high drama of Gilded Age politics, disputed elections, and narrow victories during the era in which the modern, industrial, continent spanning United States was being forged and many of its social and political attitudes taking shape Finally, it is the story of assassination at the hands of a religious fanatic before the character of the president could truly be tested in office.From these rich materials a fully rounded portrait of Garfield and his time emerges He rises above the image of good natured backslapper and forgotten if martyred president to which history has relegated him He becomes a figure worth the major treatment Dr Peskin has accorded him.

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      Published :2019-03-11T23:36:14+00:00

    1 thought on “Garfield

    1. It was a struggle to overlook the editing mistakes in this edition, starting with the "erratum" for page 444, but the story itself was enjoyable enough. I was disappointed with how little time Peskin spent on the election of 1876, which wasn't decided until a couple of days before the inauguration of Rutherford Hayes, because Representative Garfield was on one of the teams investigating election results. However, Peskin made up for it with his thorough coverage of the 1880 Republican convention, [...]

    2. bestpresidentialbios/2014/“Garfield: A Biography” by Allan Peskin was published in 1978 and was the first comprehensive biography of James A. Garfield in four decades. Ironically, this biography was followed shortly by the posthumous publication of Margaret Leech’s own study titled “The Garfield Orbit.” Peskin was a long-time professor of American history at Cleveland State University.Comprehensive in scope and liberally infused with penetrating character insight, Peskin’s biography [...]

    3. There is not a large collection of James Garfield biographies to choose from, mainly due to lack of interest in our 20th President. As Peskin writes at the end, Garfield quickly faded into the distant memory of public consciousness - eventually being lumped in and confused with several other late 19th century, facial hair-sporting, lackluster presidents. While this does seem to be a somewhat harsh verdict rendered by history, Garfield did not particularly distinguish himself - positively or nega [...]

    4. When you think of great presidential biographies, one on James Garfield doesn't typically come to mind. More often one on Washington, Adams, or Lincoln is likely does. However, Peskin has provided what is one of the more readable biographies I've read in quite some time. Because the subject is not on one of the acknowledged greats, it makes the work even more important.Peskin portrays Garfield as a man who develops deep feelings for the people around him, is easily influenced by them, but can ea [...]

    5. This biography took me a lot longer to get through than most, and I can't exactly explain why. The writing is pretty straight forward, the research is done quite well (using a lot of letters and diary entries, and documented newspaper articles, both those for and against events and people), so a relatively clear picture of Garfield emerges. However, I think that's what slowed me down. He was quite a contradictory man himself. He would often say things in public, contradict and say other things i [...]

    6. Some parts of this book were really good. Example: the Republican convention in Chicago in 1880 where Garfield somehow got the nomination, a shameless event filled with drunks and back-room shenanigans. Example: the description of Garfield's assassin, Guiteau--a fascinating, deranged man who actually has a tiny bit of my sympathy because he had a messed-up childhood that made him this perfectly crazy murderer. Also, this author illuminates the relationships and political goings-on fairly well. B [...]

    7. President Garfield is one of those White House residents that don't receive a lot of attention. His biggest claim to fame, to the average person, unfortunately was that he was assassinated in 1881. He only held the Presidency for a few short months before being shot in Washington D.C. train station headed out on vacation. His other claim to fame is that he was the last President born in a log cabin like Abraham Lincoln. He was born in Moreland Hills, Ohio in 1831. His father died when he was two [...]

    8. "All I want to do is stay home and read this biography of James Garfield!" said no one ever unless they were reading this one by Allan Peskin, and then there is nothing else to say about this book. It's wonderful! I'm engaged in a project to read a biography of each president in order, so I have entered what I call the "discount" presidents of the late 19th century, starting with Hayes and extending until I get to TR at the beginning of the twentieth century, so I wasn't sure about picking up a [...]

    9. American presidents have received a diverse range of biographical attention that in both quality and quantity usually reflects the length of their term in office and the impact of their presidency. In this respect Allan Peskin's biography of James Abram Garfield stands out as virtually unique: a first-class biography of one of the briefest occupants of the presidency, which offers a thorough understanding of the man based on a comprehensive examination of his life and career.Born in Ohio, Garfie [...]

    10. James A. Garfield is one of the forgotten Presidents, one of the 'gravely vacant and bewhiskered faces', as Peskin puts, part of the succession of unremarkable Presidents between U.S Grant and Teddy Roosevelt. A major reason for that is the length of his administration - just 200 days from his inauguration to his assassination by Charles Guiteau, and that assassination is largely the only reason his name is know these days, part of the roll-call of assassinated Presidents.This does Garfield some [...]

    11. The book covers the life of James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. It covers the full span of Garfield's life in equal detail, from his childhood to his assassination.The author convincingly identifies several common themes of Garfield's personality throughout his life, such as his fatalistic view of his own destiny that prohibited him from actively seeking high public office. He was also someone that was much more comfortable dealing with issues rather than personal politic [...]

    12. James Garfield, 20th President of the United States, held office for approximately six months prior to his assassination in 1881. The killer, Charles Julius Guiteau, was a deranged excommunicate of the utopian Oneida Community, who felt God had "selected him as the instrument of the President's removal." Biographer Allan Peskin provides much insight into the life of Garfield, perhaps best summarized in the final pages: "Garfield's life was actually tangled in contradictions: a pacifist turned (C [...]

    13. Another competent and readable biography of a little-known president. Garfield, much like his predecessor, Hayes (and to a certain extent his predecessor, Grant), had a presidency defined by party politics and the shadow of civil service reform. That is didn't last a whole term was a shame, because he certainly seemed like a more interesting politician than some of his contemporaries. Peskin writes a pretty basic biography, with one notable exception: Garfield's childhood takes up much less real [...]

    14. Peskin’s Garfield was good, but (of course there’s a but) I did notice some spelling and citation errors which detracted from the experience. Also, I felt at times as if Peskin was on a mission to redeem Garfield who, despite having some good points, was overall not really that admirable of a figure. He cheated on his wife and was rather dismissive of her overall. He was a politician through and through in the modern sense of the term. While occasionally claiming to want to do more for his c [...]

    15. This was a well written, thorough but never tedious, biography of James Garfield. Peskin takes the time to explain Garfield's upbringing (poor), schooling, career as a teacher, and finally a General under Rosecrans in the Civil War before diving into his political career. This book is well organized and constant in the the amount of description given from birth to death which is more than can be said about some biographies.Because his district was very Republican, only once did he need to worry [...]

    16. Peskin has skillfully put the life of a fascinating, but forgotten, President onto the pages of this book. He spares little detail - which at times can make the book dense - but seems to have captured the spirit of Garfield in his writing. A wonderful read for anyone interested in American politics during and shortly after Reconstruction.

    17. If you want to read about President Garfield, read Candace Millard's Destiny of the Republic. If you hunger for more Garfield, red this book. Or, read this book up to the last chapter, then switch to Millard's book. Millard's book does a better job documenting the assassination, whereas this book better documents the rest of Garfield's life. Or, read them both and see how they differ.

    18. Good synopsis of early days as a teacher, thorough telling of his time in the Civil War, less detailed description of his time in the Congress. Ends abruptly with assassination and could use more discussion on his impact, and how his death affected the country and GOP politics.

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