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Grover Cleveland: A Study in Character

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Grover Cleveland: A Study in Character is the first comprehensive study of our 22nd and 24th president in nearly seventy years. This distinguished leader, the only Democrat elected to the presidency between the Civil War and World War I, rose to political prominence through the ranks of mayor of Buffalo and governor of New York before his election to this nation's highest ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published September 11th 2000 by St. Martin's Press
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Dec 19, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it

Alyn Brodsky’s “Grover Cleveland: A Study in Character” was published in 2000, just months after publication of H. Paul Jeffers’s biography of this president. Brodsky is a former book critic and newspaper columnist and has written several biographies. Two of his most recent subjects include Benjamin Rush and former New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

Of the three biographies of Grover Cleveland I’ve read to date, Brodsky’s is by far the clearest, most c
Dec 10, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Brodsky obviously admires Cleveland and argues that he is one of the most underrated presidents, but I would have preferred a more nuanced view. In particular, Brodsky puts Cleveland's attitudes and actions towards African-Americans and Chinese immigrants into appendices at the back instead of integrating them into the main text and dealing with them head on. These issues may not have been as critical during Cleveland's presidencies as, for example, the debate over the tariff and the gold versus ...more
Joel Fishbane
May 13, 2014 Joel Fishbane rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
There's nothing sexy about Grover Cleveland. Study Lincoln, you get the Civil War; study Nixon, you get Watergate. Study Grover Cleveland and you get tarriff battles and the repeal of the Sherman Silver Act. Not quite the stuff they make Hollywood movies about. Yet Alyn Brodsky's charming pro-Cleveland biography is out to argue that we should all be giving America'as 22nd / 24th President a lot more credit. To Mr. Brodsky, there is something sexy about Cleveland's presidency. "He insisted on ...more
Gene McAvoy
Dec 14, 2010 Gene McAvoy rated it really liked it
The high points of President #22, and the low points of President #24 all in one 'swell' volume.
An enjoyable read. It was fun to read a different book on Benjamin Harrison (Pres. #23) in the middle of this book. The only problem I can't find the dust jacket!
Aug 10, 2012 Corey rated it liked it
I read this during my chemotherapy treatments. Intersting guy who gets very little attention in US History.
May 25, 2012 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
a nice balance between Cleveland the man and Cleveland the President. Enjoyed it
Trey Benfield
Nov 17, 2015 Trey Benfield rated it liked it
So I was looking for a biography about Grover Cleveland simply because I knew next to nothing about him (other than Ma, where is my pa?, the non consecutive term, and the origin of the Baby Ruth candy bar). The classic biography on Cleveland is the one Allan Nevins, but it is expensive and long. Brodsky's seemed to be a good alternative.

I did learn a lot about Grover Cleveland so the biography worked from that standpoint. Brodsky does a good job of painting a picture of a President who fought a
Feb 04, 2016 Jerry-Book rated it liked it
Shelves: history, politics

Grover Cleveland by Brodsky. Unfortunately, Cleveland still awaits a great biography. Brodsky does cover Cleveland's life. He covers his meteoric rise from Mayor of Buffalo, to Governor of New York, and on to President of the United States in only three years. The chief issues in his presidency were the silver issue, high tariffs, and labor unrest. In foreign policy he dealt with Hawaii, Cuba, the Monroe Doctrine, and Samoa. Even though he was initially elected as a reformer with the aid of the
Regina Lindsey
Jan 25, 2016 Regina Lindsey rated it it was ok
A president that has a meteoric rise, a deeply divided country, a party threatened to fall apart because of strong-willed section of the party, a bad economy, a signature legislation “rammed” (author’s words not mine) through Congress that leads to the paralysis of the rest of the president’s agenda, and labor issues. 2013? No , late 1800’s.

Grover Cleveland had a meteoric rise going from sheriff to mayor, to governor, and president within 3-1/2 years. At a time when Democrats were desperate to o
Scott Cox
Grover Cleveland held title to many firsts - he was the first (and only) President to be elected to two non-consecutive terms (#22 and #24). He is the only President from New Jersey, the first President to have been married and have children while in the White House, and the only President who was previously a sheriff and to have personally executed a criminal. Besides these "firsts," Cleveland's Presidency is best known for his opposition to high tariffs (federal taxation of its day), support ...more
Aug 25, 2010 Matt rated it liked it
Grover Cleveland was a great President before the modern era. As the author depicts the President's accomplishments with detail. My main gripe with this book was the author praise--too fanatical in the purview. However, perhaps this was the authors intent--let me explain.

Cleveland had fortitude, courage and an unbiding sense of political obstinacy to those ideals that those surrounding him did not have. The political climate engulfed him in his second non-consectutive term.

Supposedly his last wo
Jan 05, 2014 Mark rated it did not like it
Shelves: croah
While Brodsky's biography of Grover Cleveland is an entertaining read, the book is far too partisan to to be credible as a study of his life and presidency. Brodsky's greatest achievement, as a result, is to make it clear why he admires Cleveland, presenting him as a man of great conviction and character. But all too often flaws are spun as virtues, which prevents the sort of nuanced assessment necessary for a proper understanding of Cleveland and his times.
Mr. V
Feb 28, 2016 Mr. V rated it liked it
Interesting. Was able to do what many a president before him tried to do and be elected to a second term after not serving for 4 years. I wonder if we will ever see that again. Initially say no because of term limits you are a lame duck instantly but then it seems it is more a popularity contest anymore.
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