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The President And The Assassin: McKinley, Terror, And Empire At The Dawn Of The American Century

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  2,979 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
In 1901, as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial expansion, an assassin’s bullet shattered the nation’s confidence. The shocking murder of President William McKinley threw into stark relief the emerging new world order of wha
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 07, 2012 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents-staff
That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime - to set an example - and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.
William McKinley

 photo william_mckinley_zps1cadcd4b.jpg

Scott Miller used the assassination of President William McKinley as the centering point of this historical overview of the events at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century that brought America forward as a world power. This book came out almost at the same time as Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Mu
Scott Miller has written a popular history of the assassination of President William McKinley, and the political and social climate leading up to the fateful day in 1901. He used a two-pronged approach in writing the book. Chapters dealing with McKinley's presidency alternate with chapters involving the anarchy movement and his assassin, Leon Czolgosz. The chapters about the history of the anarchists are often set up to a decade earlier in time than the McKinley chapters, but the two timelines m ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Quite an interesting book about America and the man (McKinley with help from Teddy Roosevelt) that had a vision for imperialism and economic expansion in the latter part of the 19th century, the radical aspects and actions of anarchic thought and its main figures of the time (Emma Goldman, Albert Parsons and Johann Most, just to name a few) and the eventual murder of a beloved President that had the ambition to take a developed society to the forefront of being a superpower in the world for year ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Karla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: want to know how "America, F*CK YEAH!" got started?
Recommended to Karla by: Kerrie
A very readable popular history of the beginnings of American imperialism as we know it today, linked to McKinley's assassination. Prior to reading this, I had known that there were many cycles of boom and bust in the Gilded Age, but I'd had no idea that it was due in no small part to full-throttle production. According to the wisdom of the times, it was cheaper to produce more with smaller profits than tailor output to fit demand and make larger profits. Therefore, by the time the mid 1890s rol ...more
The late 19th century was a bumping time for much of America. With the pesky Gold versus Silver standard thing out of the way (think of the troubles it would cause if the Fed started buying up Bitcoins), McKinley was able to swagger into office amid a boom in American production and exports. Railroads are crisscrossing the nation, we’re fighting over a whole bunch of islands and coming to the conclusion that we’d pretty much be doing the entire world a disservice if we refused to get at least a ...more
Wayne Barrett

Great bit of history. There was much more to learn other than the obvious details of President McKinley's assassination. Most notably, the US move into the 20th century and the era in which it took it's place as one of the world powers. There were a lot of unanswered questions about my countries history that were satisfied within these pages. Well worth the read.
May 07, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century” is Scott Miller’s 2011 tale of McKinley’s presidency – and of his assassination. Prior to writing this book Miller spent almost two decades as a correspondent for Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.

Two things are immediately obvious to readers of this popular history. First, despite the fact it covers much of McKinley’s life in one form or another, this is no
Jul 17, 2011 Arminius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The President and the Assassin is a great book about an underappreciated President and a relatively unknown assassin. The author goes back and forth between President McKinley and his assassin Leon Czolgosz.

I will start with President McKinley’s great accomplishments. First, exports nearly doubled going from $833 million in 1896 (when McKinley took office) to 1.5 billion when he was unfortunately murdered.
Workers wages increased, cotton, wheat and corn prices climbed and inventions for convenien
Jan 15, 2012 Clayton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting telling of a period of American history that I knew little about. This follows the rise of William McKinley from his humble beginnings in Canton, Ohio to the White House, and his eventual assassination. It also follows the end of the gilded era in the United States and the rise of the progressive era. At the epicenter is the Industrial Revolution and the fight for workers rights.

I didn't really expect this book to be a full history of Pres. William McKinley but that's what
I was debating going between 3 and 4 stars for this but ultimately erred low.

While the synopsis does say that it is "the story of the momentous years leading up to that event", I feel like that doesn't adequately portray just how much of the book isn't about the assassination. There is the opening chapter and the last 40 or so pages, and that's it. The rest is about anarchism, McKinley's and Czolgosz's paths, the Spanish-American war... It's just so much about other things that I feel it should
Alex Jutila
Nov 19, 2013 Alex Jutila rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Quick Review: Scott Miller is a fucking idiot.

Long Review:
Wow, what a nightmare of a historical narrative. Asides from being blatantly biased, Scott Miller really did his best to give the most distorted view of anarchism available in paperback. Chapter Five, "The Government is Best Which Governs the Least", takes the cake. In the last pages of this chapter, Scott Miller offers us his view of the history of anarchism. This mostly breaks down to ol' Josiah Warren and his commune. Miller doesn't bo
Since I live near Buffalo and had recently visited the Roosevelt inauguration site, I jumped at the opportunity to borrow and read this book. I knew a small amount about McKinley's assassination, that it happened at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo and was carried out by anarchist, Leon Czolgosz. This book details the lives of McKinley and Czolgosz until their paths met on September 06, 1911. They came from very different backgrounds and while McKinley headed a country on its path to gobal ...more
Matthew Hunter
Oct 27, 2011 Matthew Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Absolutely fantastic! Miller tells the parallel stories of President McKinley and his anarchist assassin Leon Czolgosz. Teddy Roosevelt, Emma Goldman, Andrew Carnegie, Johann Most, William Jennings Bryan and many other important figures make appearances in this drama. Throughout my reading of the book, I was struck by how little I knew about turn of the century America and the McKinley presidency. Why is that? The Spanish-American War, occupations of the Phillipines, Guam, Cuba, the dawn of US i ...more
Sep 12, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing if only for the fact that I learned so much about the US and their foreign policies of the early 1900's. The story of our involvement with Hawaii, Guam, Cuba and the Philippines is all in there. Amazing what just one president did.

It is also the story of the assassin that killed him and I think the author did an amazing job going back and forth between the two stories and keeping us interested in what what going on with both men.

Finally, I was shocked at how similar things
Aug 20, 2011 Tory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was admittedly more interested in learning more about the anarchist movement at the turn of the century than the Spanish-American War but the book devotes most of its time to McKinley and his expansionist policy. The parallels between McKinley's overseas policies and Bush's two wars and anarchy in the Gilded Age as our modern day terrorism are subtle yet well drawn.
Nov 24, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My junior high history teacher — going back to the mid 1960s — told me to read this book during a phone conversation we had several months ago. I’m glad I did my assignment.

“The President and the Assassin” started slowly. I didn’t think, early on, that I would finish it. About a third into to it, though, my interest picked up. At the halfway mark, I was hooked.

Scott Miller provides the reader with a dose of late 19th and early 20th century politics, an overview of the rise of anarchism in Europe
Steven Z.
Jun 20, 2013 Steven Z. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of narrative history that is well written and provides an engaging story with a tinge of analysis then Scott Miller’s THE PRESIDENT AND THE ASSASSIN should be of interest. Miller has written a dual socio-political biography of William McKinley through his assassination in 1901, and the development of anarchism in the United States zeroing in on Leon Czologosz, McKinley’s assassin, and other anarchists including Emma Goldman. As you read the book many comparisons to contemporary ...more
Cheryl Gatling
This book begins with President McKinley's reception at the Pan-American Exposition, and Leon Czolgosz walking up to him and pulling a gun. I thought, well, that's it. That's the assassination of the President. What is the rest of the book going to be about? The rest of the book backs up and looks into all the political, economic, and military events shaping the American of 1901, and into the lives of McKinley and Czolgosz. McKinley was an affable, somewhat bland man who hated conflict. He was e ...more
Miller is a good writer and it is a smooth read. The turn of the last century is a fascinating time in American history. He does a pretty good job of showing how the US empire grew. The idea of juxtaposing President McKinley's life against that of the man who killed him was a good one. It does give you a certain sense of the time.

It is clear; however, where Miller's politics lie. Not surprisingly, a man who worked for the Wall Street Journal and graduated from Cambridge does not have a lot of lo
Jay Connor
This must be my week for late 1800's intrigue. I just reviewed Candice Millard's strong "The Destiny of the Republic" about the events surrounding the murder of James Garfield and now I turn to Scott Miller's "The President and the Assassin" which travels not too dissimilar ground in the assassin of Wm. McKinley.

Millard tells the better story, but Miller had the better material. History, to have impact, needs theater and relevance in its telling, and our great historians (Shelby Foote, David Mc
A big Thank You to the author, Scott Miller, for writing this book!

Objective and very informative (without getting tedious), this book offers a good overview of (and is a great way to learn about) the era of McKinley's presidency (1896-1901), including the Spanish-American War and the annexation of Hawaii. McKinley truly seems to have been a real decent man and a devoted husband.

The author also gives his readers a lot of information on that period's economic & geopolitical contexts, such a
Jul 08, 2012 Alfredo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book by Scott Miller takes us into a journey to the times surrounding the assassination of president McKinley; rather than focus specifically on the assassination, which receives only cursory coverage, the author focuses on the political and social times with special emphasis on the rise of American overseas imperialism and anarchy in the USA.

We follow varied characters in different times as the main storyline builds onto the fateful shooting in Buffalo New York in September 1901.

I found th
Rex Fuller
Aug 18, 2014 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrorists lurk inside the country. They publish venom toward the whole system. Bombings demonstrate they’re capable of what they threaten. But it’s not present day. It’s 1901. The nation just re-elected by a landslide a beloved Republican president credited with pulling the country out of recession with tariffs and pro-business policies and vaulting it into the first rank of world powers by defeating Spain and the Boxer rebels in China. Then, while he attended a magnificent display of American ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Goodreads First Reads win. I really enjoyed the book and learned quite a bit about a time I did not know much about. I usually read earlier U S history and have never really found earlier parts of the 1900's and late 1800's that interesting. This book changed my mind about those periods in time. We have all heard of the Maine, the Rough Riders and the assisination of President McKinley but this book gives you an interesting look at this history in greater detail. I learned several thi ...more
Jan 16, 2017 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This was a great read. Much more than a history of Presdient McKinley and the assassin who killed him. This really is a good history of the anarchist movement at the turn of the 20th century. So more than just an assassin, the book explores many of the key people in this movement, and their affect on history culminating in the assassination of McKinley.
Well, that was fascinating. My sad American public education jumps from Washington to Lincoln to (F.D.) Roosevelt and certainly never included utopian communities, labor movements, or the American island empires. I stopped many times while reading this book to do some side reading about Edward Bellamy, Emma Goldman and gangrene. What better praise to an author than to inspire further research?

I'd love to follow this up with something drawing parallels between the rich-poor disparity, leftist mo
Jul 08, 2015 MBJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who would have guessed that the story of William McKinley's presidency could be transformed into a great romantic era thriller? To relate history in such a a suspenseful manner requires a particularly well written narrative, with, of course, attention to factual accuracy, and without gratuitous sidebars of opinion that frequently interrupt the flow of biography and historical writing. This book fires away on all cylinders.

Scott Miller sets the stage for the McKinley assassination in the opening
May 31, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Highly recommend. This book changed my view of Teddy Roosevelt, YET again. I feel like he's someone in history I admire, but also see how they are basically a self-made monster. Teddy always had that aspect in his character--his way of constantly testing himself through a series of harsh experiences--the plains, Africa, his final crazed River of Doubt voyage--and the one thing he always wanted was war. His father paying his way out of the Civil War, was one of those things that haunted him I thi ...more
Jan C
Interesting at parts. The long Afterword brought this rating down a star. No real necessity for such a long Afterword. I didn't have much problem with the lengthy discussion of the Spanish-American War, history of anarchy, etc., but I wasn't crazy about the recapping of the previous 300 pages.

Not really all that much detail about the medical mess made of McKinley and his missing bullets, which is something I thought would be included. There are also other books that go further Czogolz and his m
Chris Blocker
Nov 21, 2014 Chris Blocker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A “Review” of The President and the Assassin

With a title like The President and the Assassin, you'd think this book was about a president and an assassin. And it is. Sort of. This book is less about the individuals and more about the period and the prevailing attitudes at the turn of the century. Granted, William McKinley is not one of the most well-known presidents. And surely there isn't much information regarding Leon Czolgosz. Still, I hoped for a little more sustenance regarding the two fig
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As a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, Miller spent nearly two decades in Asia and Europe, reporting from more than twenty-five countries. He covered fields as varied as the Japanese economic collapse, the birth of a single European currency, and competitive speed knitting. His articles have also appeared in the Washington Post and t
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