The other John's Reviews > Zachary Taylor: Soldier in the White House

Zachary Taylor by Holman Hamilton
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's review
Oct 21, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: history, biography, borrowed
Read in December, 2008

Subtitled "Soldier in the White House", this book is a look at Taylor's election and short term as President of the United States. It is very much a book of politics, dissecting the political world surrounding the 1848 election. If you're ever tempted to think that America has gone downhill and that our elected officials in times past we're of nobler stock than our current politico's, this book will show that it wasn't the case. Mr. Hamilton shows how Whig politics and Taylor's fame from the Mexican-American war combined to bring him to the White House. He then goes on to document the how Taylor's administration fared both with the issues of the day and the men who were squabbling over them. Also on view is an apparent shift during the controversies of 1850 as both the Democrat and Whig parties began to split along Northern and Southern lines. The book was surprisingly comfortable to read, despite the fact that it was written in 1951 and used a number of words that I really should have looked up. It's very pro-Taylor, of course, but that's about the only thing I can say that comes close to being a complaint.
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