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Calvin Coolidge: The American Presidents Series: The 30th President, 1923-1929 (The American Presidents #30)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The austere president who presided over the Roaring Twenties and whose conservatism masked an innovative approach to national leadership
He was known as "Silent Cal." Buttoned up and tight-lipped, Calvin Coolidge seemed out of place as the leader of a nation plunging headlong into the modern era. His six years in office were a time of flappers, speakeasies, and a stock mar
ebook, 224 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Times Books
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(showing 1-30)
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David Nichols
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, biography
The conservative movement's elevation of Calvin Coolidge to hero status made the thirtieth president unappealing to me. Ronald Reagan and his circle admired Coolidge for his devotion to tax cuts and for his allegedly decisive role in breaking the 1919 Boston police strike, an inspiration for American conservatives' three-decade-long war on labor unions. David Greenberg's judicious biography, however, has done much to improve my impression of Coolidge the man, if not Coolidge the president.

Doreen Petersen
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
The author did a great job with this book which is amazing considering whom he was writing about. Silent Cal was not a good president and was definitely a product of his time. That being said it is worthwhile to check this one out to see the progression in US politics.
Shawn Thrasher
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calvin Coolidge is the darling of the Republican Party (after Ronald Reagan, Michele Bachmann said that Silent Cal should have his head up there on Mt. Rushmore). Rightly so too - Coolidge is the first truly modern Republican president. Every president from Benjamin Harrison on has been called the first modern president, but its Coolidge who walks and talks like Mitt Romney (minus the moral majority). Low tax, no spend, deregulate, pro business - Calvin Coolidge was the first Republican presiden ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-project
Before reading the biographies of Harding, Coolidge, Hoover I had only a characterization-level understanding of the three. Together they were the three Republicans that let the good times roll in the 1920s and irresponsibly set up the stock market crash and the Great Depression. Individually they were the corrupt womanizer, the silent one, and Mr. Hooverville.

Of the three, Coolidge had the longest tenure in the White House and was truly the one that oversaw the decade and probably contributed t
Steven Peterson
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this brief bio of Calvin Coolidge, David Greenberg, begins with an interesting quotation (Page 1): ". . .one of the first things [Ronald Reagan:] made on entering the White House in January was to take down the portraits of Thomas Jefferson and Harry Truman in the Cabinet Room and put up those of Dwight Eisenhower and Calvin Coolidge." This volume examines Coolidge's life and times and his work as President.

"Silent Cal" was a competent but not very energetic or innovative presiden
Andy Miller
An interesting biography that is relevant to today's debate about the role of government regulation and fiscal policy in encouraging economic growth. The debate continues to today about whether Coolidge's policy of lower taxes, especially for the wealthy, and limited government regulation of financial markets was responsible for the prosperity while Coolidge was President and whether his policies set the stage for the Great Depression.

The author, David Greenberg, shows that the political situati
Loring Wirbel
We have to give David Greenberg credit for tackling one of the least colorful presidents, and doing so in the confines of the tightly-compact Schlesinger/Times Books series on American presidents. Greenberg does a decent job of trying to place Coolidge in the context of the party-constantly, get-rich-first attitudes of the 1920s. It's no wonder Coolidge was one of Reagan's idols, and would be an idol of virtually any small-government Republicans of the 21st century. Coolidge took laissez-faire a ...more
Michael Loveless
This book was typical of others in the series. It is short and mostly impartial. The best books in the series have a thesis and explore some aspect of the president's life. This book tried to argue that it is hard to judge Coolidge because his presidency was at the crossroads of two eras. He was very popular at the time of his presidency, largely because times were good. He was seen as open to new ideas, especially making use of new media and advertising techniques to promote himself, but he als ...more
Dec 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...even if many of the foot soldiers of the New Right have little memory or even historical knowledge of the man himself."

yes, time to arm one's self against the conservative hoards. This book is a good place to start.
Susan Maciak
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high school and college students, history buffs
A must-read for anyone studying history, especially 1920s American history.
Sagar Jethani
Calvin Coolidge didn't do much.

Take the event which catapulted him into national prominence-- his decision as Governor of Massachusetts to fire and replace the Boston police officers who went on strike in 1919. Hailed by later-day strike-busters as an example of how to preserve public safety by standing up to big labor, Coolidge characteristically delayed acting until matters had reached a crisis.

Faced with a police commissioner who refused to improve overcrowded stations and worsening job condi
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calvin Coolidge was a much loved U.S. president "in real" time, but history does not look back on him favorably. He was the leader of the U.S. during the roaring 20s. He believed minimum government so did more vetoing than implementing. Seemed like genius at the time, however, with the benefit of a review-view mirror, it seemed like he should have taken steps to cool the economy and help reduce the punch of the upcoming crash and depression. Coolidge stepped down just months before the stock mar ...more
Robin Friedman
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A President Between Two Worlds

Near the end of his short biography of Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933), David Greenberg quotes novelist Willa Cather's statement that "The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts". (Greenberg, p.158) Cather was referring to what she believed was the watershed of the jazz age, with its increase in individualism, the pursuit of wealth or pleasure, and sexual activity. Cather disliked the claimed new jazz age world as did Calvin Coolidge, the president during much of i
Zach Koenig
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If one looks at the purpose of "The American Presidents" series as to give a succinct summary of both "the man" and "the administration(s)" of each American President, then David Greenberg succeeds aptly with this bio of Calvin Coolidge.

In this book, there is a nice balance of Coolidge's personal life and his dealings in the world of politics:

On the personal side, Greenberg spends most of his words examining the fact that President Coolidge was such a stoic, shy, reserved type of individual. Aft
Cynthia Egbert
I did not quite finish this book. I just couldn't do it. I did come away with a healthy respect for Mr. Coolidge but not for Mr. Greenberg. This author obviously does not think too highly of President Coolidge and that disdain really came across in his writing and I finally got fed up. There are a few quotes (from Coolidge and a few others, not the author) that I did appreciate.

"There is properly no history; only biography." -Emerson

"All of our great presidents were leaders of thought at at time
I had always thought that Coolidge was one of those Presidents who happened to serve during a period where nothing major affected the Presidency. The major happening in the 20’s would have been the rise of gangsters but crime enforcement was mainly thought to be a local issue at the time. It is clear that the author is not a fan of Coolidge’s small government, minimal intervention tactics. It tells his rise from a boy in Vermont to Governor of Massachusetts and after a police strike in Boston ga ...more
Fred Kohn
Certainly my least favorite in this series to date, but that's not the author's fault. There simply isn't much to say about this do-nothing president. Coolidge at least was quotable, and much of the book was devoted to his more interesting quotes and quotes about him from his contemporaries. There were a couple chapters that were more interesting than the others, especially the one about the mistakes in Coolidge's policies which in part led to the Great Depression and the chapter entitled simply ...more
Pat Carson
Another good entry in the American Presidents series. Good basic overview of Coolidge and the 20's. The main take away for high school readers might be the change in how a modern president operates versus someone who feels he must follow precedent and not encourage government growth and regulation.
Rocky Schulz
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With loud mouth politicians, braggadocious pop culture icons, and flamboyant characters in western culture some of us may feel like we are weak or unworthy of success if we have a quiet demeanor.
But from 1923-1929, the most powerful man in the United States was Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge.
Concise and interesting bio of a lesser known president. Like all of the The American Presidents entries, it's a fine introduction to a president's life and service. If you don't know much about Coolidge (as I didn't), I recommend this as a good start.
William J.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Silent Cal" is usually placed in the less than memorable Presidents group as author David Greenberg points out in his Introduction but he inspired President Ronald Reagan because of his belief in small government and his faith in America. Good book, easy read!
James P
Subtlety Biased against
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
Well done Mr Greenberg. Balanced without buying into the mythology. Someone with similar ideas is just what we need today "reduce government to its simplest terms".
Peter A.  van Tilburg
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Very interesting overview of his life which gives a view on the why and the real republican style of "laissez faire"
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't the greatest biography I've ever read. I wish it would of focused more on his life than his presidency.
Mark Cooper
Interesting book but I didn't finish it. Wish there were more public servants like Coolidge. Quiet, pragmatic, serious leader.
Ted Guglielmo
Kind of a tough read. if you like the art of politics in that era you will like this. it tells his story but much of the book is about the 'Machine"
Caesar Deaz
rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2009
Shea McMurray
rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2015
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