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Grover Cleveland (2002)

de Henry F. Graff, Henry F. Graff

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2405113,452 (3.29)8
An examination of the political contributions of the nineteenth-century president traces his rags-to-riches personal story and his efforts to restore stature to the office in the wake of several weak administrations.
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Exibindo 5 de 5
This very short work is a part of the American Presidents series of biographies of our nation’s chief executives.

I wouldn’t recommend the American Presidents series for Presidents such as Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, either Roosevelt or most of the Presidents in the 20th century. However, for many of the 19th century Presidents, 200 pages of material will contain about all the material you need to know about Presidents such as Cleveland, Harrison, Tyler, Buchanan, Arthur, Garfield, Van Buren, Fillmore, Hayes, etc.

And while many of the above referenced biographies extend to 200 pages, this biography of Grover Cleveland checks in at only 135 pages. This is far too cursory a treatment for a President that served two, full, non-consecutive terms. This extreme brevity and simplicity render this the most unsatisfactory of all the American Presidents biographies I have read.

Cleveland enjoyed a meteoric rise in Democrat Party politics, serving as Mayor of Buffalo, then Governor of New York in the two short years before his party’s nomination for President. He became the first Democrat to be elected post-Civil War and despite losing the electoral college in his bid for re-election, ended up winning the popular vote in three consecutive presidential elections, becoming the only man to serve non-consecutive presidential terms.

While Cleveland is a perfectly suitable President for a relatively short biography, this 135 page treatment is a poor effort. ( )
  santhony | Jan 22, 2024 |
A few months ago, I decided to start reading presidential biographies. My goal is to cover all the presidents, one per month. Marty V (The Little Magician) was April, Andrew Jackson was May, and John Q Adams was June.

That brought me to the centerfold, Grover Cleveland, in July. The biggest thing I knew about Grover heading into this book was being the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (he was #22 & #24). The biggest thing I now know is that Grover was BIG. He tipped the scales at 300 lbs.

One quote that stuck out came from Edward Stuyvesant Bragg (think Fort Bragg). He said of Grover, "...they respect him not only for himself, for his character, for his integrity and judgement and iron will, but they love him most of all for the enemies he has made."

Grover was also Mayor of Buffalo (1882) and Governor of NY (1883). He never played nice with Tammany Hall and was considered extremely honest and strove to clean up the party machine corruption.

His first child, Ruth, died before her 13th birthday (1904). Her nickname lives on in the candy bar, Baby Ruth.

Unless you are planning on reading about all the presidents too, you can probably skip Grover Cleveland. Just grab a Baby Ruth bar and eat it alone, under the harsh glare of a single light bulb. ( )
  Gravewriter | Jul 22, 2023 |
This book is more of an overview of Grover Cleveland's life than a biography. It does not go into a lot of detail about much, but does try to give perspective about things that happened in his life relative to the time he lived in.

It does gloss over Cleveland's troubling and creepy relationships with women, which is problematic.

There is also a lot of presidential trivia in this book about several presidents and the resolute desk. ( )
  littlemuls | Aug 26, 2021 |
Being an overview of the life and incumbency of our 22d and 24th president. Reflecting its subject, this book is a solid work of narrative, with little if any consideration of big ideas or deeper meanings. Cleveland has (unfortunately, in my view) fallen considerably in historical regard from his "near great" position in the earliest presidential greatness surveys during the World War II era. Graff does very little to budge Cleveland from your survey class which probably filed him away as an honest, competent plodder. The author generally writes clearly, save for occasional indulgences in a rather involuted syntax which can require some rereading to make the sentences make sense, if they ever do. The author's great strength is his colorful rendition of the era's politics The book is a quick, pleasant read which reviews competently but does little to expand one's understanding of its subject. ( )
1 vote Big_Bang_Gorilla | Sep 29, 2014 |
The only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms. His presidency seems to a be from an age where noninvolvement from politicians was a virtue and not and slur. Short read. ( )
  luckypiece5000 | Jun 17, 2007 |
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When Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837, Andrew Jackson had just left the White House and Martin Van Buren was in his place.

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Early Years
Cleveland was baptized Stephen Grover, but he never used the Stephen after he grew up.
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An examination of the political contributions of the nineteenth-century president traces his rags-to-riches personal story and his efforts to restore stature to the office in the wake of several weak administrations.

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