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Al Smith and His America (Library of American Biography)

liked it 3.0  ·  Rating Details ·  6 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
The legendary image of America as a land of opportunity was challenged in 1928 by Al Smith's race for the presidency. Could the governor from New York, a Catholic from the Lower East Side, really become president? His candidacy began a dark episode in American history as Al Smith found himself a victim of the very society that, ironically, gave him his greatest ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 30th 1987 by Northeastern University Press (first published January 1st 1958)
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Sep 30, 2015 Mike rated it did not like it
While I've read a lot about Al Smith in other works (most notably, Robert Caro's "The Power Broker"), I would never consider myself an expert on the man and his era. That said, Handlin's Smith bears little resemblance to the Smith I've seen elsewhere. I've come to see Smith as a champion of liberal values and a believer in the ability of big government to do great things. As FDR said, the New Deal was essentially built from things Smith had already done in New York. In Handlin's telling, though, ...more
May 10, 2008 Jack rated it liked it
A good narrative style, although the focus almost exclusively on the dry facts and developments of Smith's political fortunes keeps Handlin from using the style to its greatest effectiveness.
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