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An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland

de H. P. Jeffers

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A biography of the only president to be elected to non-consecutive terms reveals a tough, honest, courageous leader who took responsibility for his actions and wasn't afraid to take on corruption where he saw it.
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I received this book from audible for ?? but I enjoyed it immensely. I have set a goal of reading at least 2 biographies of each President, and have many yet to go. As I finished listening to _Eleanor in the Village_ (okay, so she wasn't actually an elected President), this book showed up in my library feed. I must have missed the memo from Audible.com!

Overall, I am left with that "who knew" feeling. Cleveland wasn't perfect, in fact, we would consider him a bit of a pedophile today, I think, but we've seen worse in the White House. Cleveland did, or tried to do, several things that I would applaud, as well as several things not so laudable. In many ways he was forward-looking; in some ways he was quite extraordinary.

One anecdote the author left out of the book was one I learned from the annual collection of White House ornaments.
Cleveland's wedding to Frances Folsom was the first to take place in the White House. Cleveland had been named guardian of Frances by his best friend's last will and testament. Ok, he was a bit older (twice as?) than she...had known her since birth. So glad was he to marry this young virginal girl he had the wedding cake made in the shape of a ship...and its name was written on the bow: "S.S. Hymen." No kidding.

The narrator read through the book as if time was of the essence. No doubt that was at the behest of the producer. ( )
  kaulsu | Oct 7, 2021 |
H. Paul Jeffers does an excellent job of describing who Grover Cleveland was, how he governed as a Mayor, Governor, and President. His book, "An Honest President" doesn't seem to be intended to make the reader like or dislike Cleveland's Presidential policies, but rather to introduce the reader to the type of man Cleveland was. He's presented as being an open and honest individual, and one who stood for doing the right thing for the Country while in office. It was also interesting to read about presidential politics in what seemed to be a much simpler time.
( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
An enjoyable read that helped clearly explain the politics of the late 19th Century, and why voters seemed to insist on electing presidents outside the normal political establishment. Cleveland's honesty does stand out as unusual in political history. I do wish Jeffers had spent more time on Cleveland's troubling attitudes towards race -- it's difficult to write him off as a "man of his time" when the 5 consecutive Republican presidents before him were pretty progressive on civil rights. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
A fair and balanced biography. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
Most people if asked about Grover Cleveland will either say that he was the only man elected in non-consecutive terms or that he was married in the White House or the father of Baby Ruth. But what I found in reading the biography was a man who "possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence and common sense". Cleveland felt that "those who governed understood that they were servants, not masters, and that public office is a public trust".

Grover Cleveland, a man of political courage, was a defender of the Monroe Doctrine, champion of the Gold Standard and Civil Service Reform.

All in all, a man that held honesty as the most important trait of any man even if it threatened his political popularity. ( )
  cyderry | Jan 8, 2014 |
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