Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell

This is another installment of the American Presidents Series (see the end of the post for a list of other books in this series I’ve reviewed).

I picked this book as my next read mainly because I knew very little about Arthur. I like that this author makes Arthur very human and doesn’t try to make him into something he is not. He admits that Arthur really just goes along, but at the same time we can see Arthur making some decisions and stances that put him above the “party man” he is often seen as. I feel that I learned a lot from this book and really got a new perspective on Arthur. While I still would not rank him as a “great” or even “above average” president, he definitely didn’t do a bad job and even really surpassed most opinions of how he’d do before taking office, so that in itself is a victory. I found that he really stood above party politics, which given his background, is surprising.

I also enjoyed the information on the James Garfield assassination and the trial of his assassin. Overall, this was a very interesting read. If you want to learn more about Arthur, this is definitely the book for you.

Other American Presidents Series Reviews:

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