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A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland

av Troy Senik

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1202227,149 (3.96)2
"A long-overdue biography of Grover Cleveland, the honest, principled, plain-spoken, and incorruptible twenty-second and twenty-fourth president whose country has largely forgotten him"--
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When I was a lad, on the wall of the schoolroom hung a poster of the ratings of presidential greatness, and loud and proud in the Near Greats was Grover Cleveland. No more. He's the only President I can think of who has fallen two levels to Average. Our author states very clearly in his introduction that he's out to rehabilitate his reputation, or at least to get America to occasionally remembering him. In this meseems he succeeds, although he's pretty much preaching to the choir with me. However, except perhaps for the first and last chapters, this is no hagiography; he also made me see Cleveland's limitations and how disastrous his second term was. I do think that professional historians would blanch at an author being so forthright about his agenda, but this is basically very good popular history.. Aside from these points, the author is a fony of presidential trivia; I learned so many worthwhile minor but striking facts along the way. And, in he end, how can any book be anything but great when it's first line is "H.L. Mencken could be a pain in the ass." ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Nov 19, 2023 |
For more reviews and bookish posts visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland by Troy Senik is a biography of the 22nd, and 24th President. To this day the only person to serve as President in two, non-consecutive terms.

I didn’t know much about Grover Cleveland before reading the book, there are no statues of him in the capital, and only one in Buffalo, NY. He is mentioned as an honest steward of taxpayer’s money in Edmund Morris’ The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, but that’s about it.

I thought that A Man of Iron by Troy Senik was and interesting read and easy to digest. I enjoyed the small anecdotes sprinkled in the narrative, as well as its observations and wit.

The author clearly admires Cleveland’s character and moral standings. He often decided to err on the side of public good, instead of his own best-interests. He doesn’t shy away from Cleveland’s supposed tales of infidelity, his marriage to a much younger woman, and more.

One of the fascinating stories in the book takes place at sea, where President Cleveland had a complicated surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his mouth away from prying public eyes. The surgery was a success, which was thanks to the skill of the surgeon, but mostly due to great luck.

In today’s world of political cynics, it was refreshing to read about a politician who took his position in the utmost seriousness. A man of integrity who cared about public treasure and took on corruption even if it was in his own party.

After reading this book, I agree with the author that Grover Cleveland deserves to be better remembers than just a trivia answer. He had political courage, acted on his convictions, and was not afraid of political harm – things which are sorely lacking, or worst – have no place, in today’s political climate. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Oct 27, 2023 |
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"A long-overdue biography of Grover Cleveland, the honest, principled, plain-spoken, and incorruptible twenty-second and twenty-fourth president whose country has largely forgotten him"--

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