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Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire's Favorite Son

(Franklin Pierce #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Biography of Franklin Pierce, New Hampshire native and 14th president of the United States. Volume covers Pierce to the night of his inauguration.
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published November 11th 2004 by Plaidswede Pub. (first published October 2004)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
one time, a drunken man threw an egg at franklin pierce...

come to my blog!
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well-researched if perhaps overly complimentary, this book does a good job of answering one of the questions that most interests me about presidents: why were they elected in the first place?

Pierce is presented as a moderate in this book, who was looking constantly for a way to secure first and foremost, union. I think it's a little difficult to maintain that that was his only and unwavering goal, but if Pierce was anything, he was a party man. For the Democratic party in the 1840s and 50s, tha
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think this is my saddest prez bio ending yet! Maybe even sadder than Polk arranging his library! And this was only part one of a two-volumer, and now he's just heading to the White House. On to part two and his presidency.
R. Jones
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Of the two books Wallner wrote about Franklin Pierce, I prefer the second one. This book starts from Pierce's birth and ends with him securing the presidency. It's no fault of Wallner that the book that contains the Civil War is more interesting; this one is just as well-written, but the subject matter is a little on the boring side. There wasn't quite as much information on Pierce's childhood (or his friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne) as I was hoping. The bulk of the book covers Pierce's time ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it
A decent history of his life up to the time he is inaugurate President. Only for really serious Presidential history dorks.
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it

Peter Wallner’s two-volume biography of Franklin Pierce is the most recent comprehensive look at Pierce’s life and presidency. The first volume is “Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son” published in 2004. Prior to writing this biography Wallner moved to New Hampshire in order to more fully research Pierce’s life. Previously he was a history teacher; he is now a professor at Franklin Pierce College.

This first volume covers Pierce’s life from his ch
Christian Dibblee
For a president that is poorly known and even more poorly considered by historians, his life before becoming president was rendered very engaging in this book. At various points the reader grows to like Pierce and one thinks that his personality was well-suited to higher offices. From an early age he embodied that from Speaker of the New Hampshire House to the youngest Congressman and Senator in Washington.

Like any antebellum politician, slavery comes up a fair amount and while Pierce may be on
Marion Vermazen
An interesting man whose political life was based on preserving the union. This book only covers Pierce's life up to his inauguration. Although it took me six months to read I found the book compelling. Pierce was our 14th president and the youngest president up until his time. The previous biography of Pierce prior to Wallner's book was published in 1931 and Wallner uses new sources and modern research to describe the life and times of Pierce. Here are a couple quotes from the introduction.
Mark Roth
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This is the first of a two-volume biography of Franklin Pierce, America's 14th president. This volume chronicles the time between Pierce's birth and his inauguration as president.

The author portrays Pierce as a very capable politician who was less focused on personal glory than on preserving the union and keeping the Democratic party united during a time of growing sectional conflict leading up to the civil war. While his argument seems reasonable in many ways, there are a few unconvincing parts
Brent Ecenbarger
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, presidents
I will do a longer review once I read the second volume of Peter A. Wallner's Franklin Pierce biography, "Martyr for the Union." This volume covers Pierce's early years and heritage and ends at him taking the oath of office in Washington. I've read a lot of presidential biographies recently (15 on 14 presidents) and my initial take away was that Wallner does as a good of job as he can with making Pierce interesting and conveying information. The problem is that Pierce didn't do enough in his ear ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wallner provides an excellent biography on the life of Franklin Peirce however this book does not include his time as president. It provides an excellent overview on how Pierce attained the presidency and his turbulent if unknown political career came to fruition. The book clearly assesses his role in helping to shape many political outcomes in New Hampshire and focuses a little on his time in the congress. What is truly impressive about Pierce and his attainment of the presidency is that he doe ...more
One down, one to go. The first of two volumes about our 14th president, Franklin Pierce. Even though the politics were extensively described and I lost track of many of Pierce's Democratic colleagues, I found this biography moved along quickly. A superb lawyer, he probably should have remained a power in his home state and left national politics alone. His married life is dreary and sad. His only surviving son had a tragic accident. The author implies that Pierce was not one to toot his own horn ...more
Daniel Farabaugh
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
The author of this book faced the daunting task of taking one of our more obscure presidents and making him interesting. At times he over reaches and also over excuses his subject. Aside from that he does a good job of showing his rise to prominence. He comes across as a man of some skills that is able to rise to the presidency by being the least objectionable choice.
Jerry Landry
Great first volume in a two-volume series on our fourteenth president. This one focuses on Pierce's early life up to his first night in the White House. Very insightful in its examination of Pierce's rise to power. I greatly enjoy Wallner's writing style and pacing -- detailed yet not clunky, very easy flowing.
Anthony Bergen
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My review in AND Magazine: ...more
Ian Mullet
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
the best book i ever read about franklin pierce's early life. can't wait to read the sequel! blows away any biography of lincoln.
1st of a 2-volume bio. Interesting and a pretty easy read. Liked it enough to move on to volume 2.
Tom Rowe
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
It could have been shorter.
Dennis Phillips
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
It has been nigh on to 100 years since there was a complete biography of Franklin Pierce published and in that time there have been many changes in the way historians look at things. Revisionism and Counter-Revisionism and all sorts of isms have swept through the historical community but until now no one has thought to take another look at Franklin Pierce. Back in my college days I sat through classes during which the professors only mentioned Pierce in a negative light and in one class I had as ...more
Nathan Casebolt
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
In March, 1853, the fourteenth and youngest United States president yet elected made his inaugural speech on a raw, wintry morning. His platform pledged commitment to the classical principles of Jacksonian Democracy: limited government instead of a vast federal machinery, the rights of the common man instead of deference to corporations and commerce, and defense of the union instead of capitulation to reformers and fanatics. The new president from New Hampshire represented the rising hopes of Yo ...more
Tom Mobley
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: presidents
Reading this as part of my bucket list of reading a biography on every American President.

This book give a detailed insight into Pierce, up to his first night in the White House.

The growing issue of the day was obviously slavery, which was an issue that he was on the side of keeping the union together, no matter the cost.

On the one hand he fought for religious freedom. But like so many others of his day could not see he way forward to seeing the freedom of slaves.

In reading about him I think
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am - slowly - working on a life goal of reading a biography about every president. I read this one at this point because he graduated from Bowdoin College, just as my daughter was about to do, so the timing seemed good :) I loved reading about the college back in its boys only days with Longfellow and Hawthorne as Pierce's classmates. Longfellow was the rich kid!
Saka Labid
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
franklink best action, so very exitied for syuting
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Mar 27, 2016
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