Book Review of
Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man, delivers a brilliant and provocative reexamination of America’s thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge, and the decade of unparalleled growth that the nation enjoyed under his leadership. In this riveting biography, Shlaes traces Coolidge’s improbable rise from a tiny town in New England to a youth so unpopular he was shut out of college fraternities at Amherst College up through Massachusetts politics. After a divisive period of government excess and corruption, Coolidge restored national trust in Washington and achieved what few other peacetime presidents have: He left office with a federal budget smaller than the one he inherited. A man of calm discipline, he lived by example, renting half of a two-family house for his entire political career rather than compromise his political work by taking on debt. Renowned as a throwback, Coolidge was in fact strikingly modern—an advocate of women’s suffrage and a radio pioneer. At once a revision of man and economics, Coolidge gestures to the country we once were and reminds us of qualities we had forgotten and can use today.
This presidential book was my first presidential book to read after I challenged myself to read a book on every president. It seemed to be quiet dull at first, but I was able to learn some interesting information about Calvin Coolidge. While this president was in office during the roaring twenties, he contributed to many of the American people’s problems, but he also helped other areas of America. This book discusses very little about Calvin Coolidge’ s childhood, but it does go into great depth of his presidency. I also found it interesting about why Calvin Coolidge decided not to run for a full second term. When this book talks of his political career, there are some interesting topics brought up that I enjoyed reading about.