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James Buchanan: A Life from Beginning to End (Biographies of US Presidents)

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30 review for James Buchanan: A Life from Beginning to End (Biographies of US Presidents)

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Parker

    Scapegoat Of all the presidents that were ever elected, James Buchanan came to office during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. Unfortunately, he failed to step up to the plate, and the nation was plunged into a bloody civil war. Being both state’s right and pro abolitionist left him straddling two continents that were drifting apart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Jares

    James Buchanan was the only president elected from Pennsylvania; he is also the only unmarried man to serve as US President. Buchanan was an accomplished politician; he served 5 times in the House and was the ambassador to Russia, before serving in the Senate.  In Polk's presidency, he served as Secretary of State. In Franklin Pierce's administration, he was Minister to Great Britain. Interestingly, he was strongly in favor of states' rights.  Buchanan had an early engagement that was broken and James Buchanan was the only president elected from Pennsylvania; he is also the only unmarried man to serve as US President. Buchanan was an accomplished politician; he served 5 times in the House and was the ambassador to Russia, before serving in the Senate.  In Polk's presidency, he served as Secretary of State. In Franklin Pierce's administration, he was Minister to Great Britain. Interestingly, he was strongly in favor of states' rights.  Buchanan had an early engagement that was broken and the young woman died soon after the end of the engagement.  He never pursued another woman, according to the records.  However, he became very close to his niece, Harriet Lane. She acted as hostess for his term in office.   Probably, Buchanan is overshadowed by the next president -- Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.  But this book squarely places the Civil War at Buchanan's feet.  He is considered one of America's worst presidents because he only appeased the South, which emboldened them.  The Senate even compiled a resolution condemning Buchanan for his inaction in the face of turmoil.    I thought this was a balanced story of Buchanan;  here was a man with many gifts and experience.  Instead of action, this president sat and watched as events unfolded. Buchanan is considered one of America's worst presidents.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike Briley

    This biography of "the worse president ever" (I am not sure if that phrase still stands, in view of the achievements of the recent ex-president) shows yet again that "appeasement" is an all or none policy. If it works you're a hero - if it doesn't (and history shows that this is the more frequent outcome) then you're vilified worse than if you had ........ (well, I'll let each of you complete this phrase depending on your sensitivities.) Getting back to the book - a good concise biography. This biography of "the worse president ever" (I am not sure if that phrase still stands, in view of the achievements of the recent ex-president) shows yet again that "appeasement" is an all or none policy. If it works you're a hero - if it doesn't (and history shows that this is the more frequent outcome) then you're vilified worse than if you had ........ (well, I'll let each of you complete this phrase depending on your sensitivities.) Getting back to the book - a good concise biography.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Larson

    A nice summary of the president who did little to prevent the Civil War. He opposed secession but chose to try to appease the southern states. The war may have been unavoidable but Buchanan was largely inept and did nothing. He is largely considered one of the worst if not the worst president in U.S. history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robin Dix

    A lot of information for a President that wasn't very liked. Worth the read. A lot of information for a President that wasn't very liked. Worth the read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    DENNIS GLEASON

  7. 5 out of 5

    lucjan kujawa

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Lee LaFace

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris L Moore

  10. 4 out of 5

    Candy mcHale

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marty Henson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janmarie Toker

  13. 4 out of 5

    Philip Rogers

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vince

  15. 4 out of 5

    JOHN W PARKER

  16. 5 out of 5

    Constance

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ewoldt

  18. 5 out of 5

    edhem

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eveli Hämarik

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yadu

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janeen H

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Casey

  23. 4 out of 5

    loren g zadnik

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alain Crochetiere

  25. 4 out of 5

    chris hoban

  26. 5 out of 5

    Genna Brown

  27. 4 out of 5

    Donald Stevenson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  29. 4 out of 5

    mr p r henden

  30. 4 out of 5

    Peter F. Hackley

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