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Bad Presidents pp 133-145 | Cite as

The Booster: Warren G. Harding

  • Philip Abbott
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)

Abstract

Like the “irredeemables” of the nineteenth century, the presidents of the early twentieth century are treated collectively. As Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan are often judged as responsible for the Civil War, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover together share responsibility for the Great Depression. As Lincoln, a great president, provided the critique of his bad predecessors, so did Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) for his. Franklin D. Roosevelt did not name names in his 1932 Oglethorpe University speech as Lincoln did in his House Divided address, but he unequivocally assigned blame to the Republican triumvirate of the 1920s. It would have been surprising in an election campaign if FDR had not blamed the Depression on Hoover. FDR used Hoover’s own analogy of the Depression as a storm sweeping across American shores from Europe to attack the Hoover administration’s competence: “There are glimpses through the clouds, of troubled officers pacing the deck wondering what to do.” 1

Keywords

Small Town Play Poker Modern Presidency Suffrage Movement Great President 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Address at Columbus Ohio,” in Samuel I. Roseman, ed., Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1928–1932) (New York: Macmillan, 1938), p. 672.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Address at Oglethorpe University,” in Samuel I. Roseman, ed., Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1928–1932) (New York: Macmillan, 1938), pp. 639–40.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    William E. Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Prosperity 1914–1932 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), p. 103;Google Scholar
  4. Ronald Allen Goldberg, America in the Twenties (Syracuse, NY: University of Syracuse Press, 2003), p. 61;Google Scholar
  5. Elliot A. Rose, Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Brains Trust (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), p. 53.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    Donald McCoy, Calvin Coolidge: The Quiet President (New York: Macmillan, 1957), p. 420.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    Herbert Hoover, “Inaugural Address,” in John Gabriel Hunt, ed., The Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents (New York: Gramercy, 1995), p. 364.Google Scholar
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    Philip G. Payne, Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2009), p. 17.Google Scholar
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    See Richard Lingeman’s cultural history, Small Town America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sherwood Anderson, Poor White (New York: Modern Library, 1926), p. 36.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River (New York: Scribner, 1935), p. 898.Google Scholar
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    Randolph C. Downes, The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1970), p. 201.Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    Speech, Waldorf Astoria, New York, 1920, Harding Papers, Ohio Historical Society.Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    Andre Sinclair, The Available Man: The Life behind the Masks of Warren Gamaliel Harding (New York: Macmillan, 1965), pp. 136–54.Google Scholar
  15. 22.
    William Allen White, Masks in a Pageant (New York: Macmillan, 1928), p. 409.Google Scholar
  16. 23.
    Eugene P. Trani and David L. Wilson, The Presidency of Warren G. Harding (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1977), p. 182.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    Carl Sferrazza Anthony, Florence Harding: The First Jazz Age and the Death of America’s Most Scandalous President (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1998), pp. 24–25.Google Scholar
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    Robert Sobel, Coolidge: An American Enigma (Washington, DC: Regnery, 1998), p. 234.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Philip Abbott 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Abbott

There are no affiliations available

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