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by Lewis L. Gould

  • ISBN: 0700615644
  • Category: Other
  • Author: Lewis L. Gould
  • Subcategory: Humanities
  • Other formats: lit docx mobi txt
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (April 9, 2008)
  • Pages: 254 pages
  • FB2 size: 1297 kb
  • EPUB size: 1921 kb
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 947
Download Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics (American Presidential Elections) fb2

Imagine a presidential election with four well-qualified and distinguished candidates and a serious debate over the future of the nation! . Nor am I totally convinced that 1912 "marked 'the birth of modern American politics

Imagine a presidential election with four well-qualified and distinguished candidates and a serious debate over the future of the nation! Sound impossible in this era of attack ads and strident partisanship? It happened nearly a century ago in 1912. Nor am I totally convinced that 1912 "marked 'the birth of modern American politics. From what I can see, the Democrats had been established as the more liberal of the two parties since at least 1896, and the debacles of 1904 and 1924 clearly demonstrated that they had no future anywhere else. Outside the South, conservative Dems had nowhere to go except into the Republican Party.

The presidential election of 1912 saw a third-party candidate finish second in. .

The Socialist candidate received the highest percentage of the popular vote his party ever attained. In addition to year-round campaigning in the modern style, the 1912 contest featured a broader role for women, two exciting national conventions, and an assassination attempt on Roosevelt's life. His most recent books include THE MODERN AMERICAN PRESIDENCY (2003), GRAND OLD PARTY: A HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICANS (2003), and THE MOST EXCLUSIVE CLUB: A HISTORY OF THE MODERN UNITED STATES SENATE (2005).

The presidential election of 1912 saw a third-party . Nor am I totally convinced that 1912 'marked 'the birth of modern American politics

The Socialist candidate received the highest percentage of the popular vote his party ever attained. Nor am I totally convinced that 1912 'marked 'the birth of modern American politics.

Although the subtitle mentions "the birth of modern American politics," this book is fascinating because it looks into an interesting election of an altogether different age. The 1912 election took place in a world where convention fights were expected, primaries were rare. The 1912 election took place in a world where convention fights were expected, primaries were rare, important movements were spread across parties, and Democrats were united behind lowering tariffs. The subtitle reflects Lewis L. Gould's assertion that key features of modern politics, like the importance of primaries and the conservative domination of the Republican Party, arose in 1912

Gould, Lewis L. Varying Form of Title: 4 hats in the ring.

Gould, Lewis L. Publication, Distribution, et. Lawrence, Kan. Prologue: the new year 1912 Progressive politics, 1909-1910 Prelude to the presidential race, 1911 Roosevelt versus Taft in 1912 Woodrow Wilson against the Democratic field A socialist celebrity runs for president The Bull Moose challenge to the major parties The clash of ideas. Personal Name: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919.

Americans sensed in 1912 that they stood at a turning point in the nation's history. Americans sensed in 1912 that they stood at a turning point in the nation's history. Four Hats in the Ring demonstrates why the people who lived and fought this significant election were more right than they could ever have known.

He was a fresh face, an articulate guy, mildly progressive, southern roots, northern background, Lewis L. Gould, author of Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics, said of Wilson. Rounding out the field was Eugene Debs, who was running for the third straight time on the Socialist Party ticket

Tariffs, Trust-Busting, and TR's Return: The 1912 Election and Modern . Politics - Lewis L. Gould Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008.

Tariffs, Trust-Busting, and TR's Return: The 1912 Election and Modern . Christopher Hickman (a1).

Critical Elections and the Mainsprings of American Politics. Gould, Lewis L. Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics (2008). Harbaugh, William Henry. For each election includes good scholarly history and selection of primary document. Essays on the most important election are reprinted in Schlesinger, The Coming to Power: Critical presidential elections in American history (1972). The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. 1963), full scholarly biography.

American Presidential Elections. Four Hats in the Ring. The 1840 Election and the Making of a Partisan Nation. Each book treats the election as a window into the politics of its time and examines what made the election interesting, distinctive, and historically significant. The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics. April 2008 254 pages.

Imagine a presidential election with four well-qualified and distinguished candidates and a serious debate over the future of the nation! Sound impossible in this era of attack ads and strident partisanship? It happened nearly a century ago in 1912, when incumbent Republican William Howard Taft, former president Theodore Roosevelt running as the Progressive Party candidate, Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson, and Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs all spoke to major concerns of the American people and changed the landscape of national politics in the bargain.The presidential election of 1912 saw a third-party candidate finish second in both popular and electoral votes. The Socialist candidate received the highest percentage of the popular vote his party ever attained. In addition to year-round campaigning in the modern style, the 1912 contest featured a broader role for women, two exciting national conventions, and an assassination attempt on Roosevelt's life. The election defined the major parties for generations to come as the Taft-Roosevelt split pushed the Republicans to the right and the Democrats' agenda of reform set them on the road to the New Deal.Lewis L. Gould, one of America's preeminent political historians, tells the story of this dramatic race and explains its enduring significance. Basing his narrative on the original letters and documents of the candidates themselves, he guides his readers down the campaign trail through the factional splits, exciting primaries, tumultuous conventions and the turbulent fall campaign to Wilson's landslide electoral vote victory in November.It's all here—Gene Debs's challenge to capitalism, the progressive rivalry of Roosevelt and Robert La Follette, the debate between the New Freedom of Wilson and the New Nationalism of Roosevelt, and the resolve of Taft to defeat his one-time friend TR and keep the Republican Party in conservative hands. Gould combines lively anecdotes, the poetry and prose of the campaign, and insights into the clash of ideology and personality to craft a narrative that moves as fast as did the 1912 election itself.Americans sensed in 1912 that they stood at a turning point in the nation's history. Four Hats in the Ring demonstrates why the people who lived and fought this significant election were more right than they could ever have known.
Reviews about Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics (American Presidential Elections) (7):
Qulcelat
I have read a few books about the election of 1912. I really enjoyed this one. It is well-written, well-researched, fairly objective, and never bored me. However, some of the concepts could have been explained in greater detail. Debs isn't discussed as much as the other candidates. To be fair, Debs was covered the least in the media at that time, but still, it would have been better to have Debs discussed more in the book. I enjoyed it and recommend it to readers who enjoy studying the political process.
Sharpmane
As promised quality, prompt delivery.
Simple fellow
All in all, if you want a good but short account of the 1912 election, this book is for you.

Gould makes a few odd remarks. He twice states that Taft's absence from the California ballot ensured that TR would carry the state even without Hiram Johnson as his running mate, though his plurality of only 174 (out of some 600,000 votes cast) makes it clear enough that his win there was far from assured. But that's a nitpick. The book contains much interesting and useful information, notably the results of the Democratic Primaries, which are often overshadowed by all the sound and fury on the Republican side, though more was probably at stake in the Democratic races.

Gould brings up some aspects of 1912 which are often overlooked, in particular that it aroused far more passion among political activists on all sides than among the public at large. Not only was turnout sharply down in percentage terms - 58.8 as against 65.5 in 1908 - but only the fact that half a dozen states had doubled their electorates by granting women the vote would prevent the absolute numbers from also going down. There was also a remarkable discrepancy between the presidential and congressional votes. Of the 19.5 million who took part, no less than 4.5 million (almost one in four)' ignored the Presidential race and were content to just vote for or against their local congressman.

He also brings over vividly just what a long shot Roosevelt's insurgency was, and questions the common assumption that had he won the nomination he would have gone on to win in November. Indeed, the amount of time TR spent down South, in pursuit of (white) votes there suggests that he himself was rather clutching at straws. It is sad that Roosevelt (hitherto probably the most racially liberal of the three main contenders ' should have kept the Progressive Party 'lily-white' in vain pursuit of Southern support. For all the good it did him, he might as well have stuck to his principles. At times (and like one or two contemporaries) I find myself wondering whether he was entirely sane in 1912.

My only real annoyance is Gould's somewhat disparaging attitude to Champ Clark, saying that his corny image was off-putting to Eastern Democrats - though his two to one win in the Massachusetts primary casts sizeable doubt on this, and his even bigger win in CA suggests that Progressive Dems were quite ok with him. Later on it is suggested that Clark would have been inadequate for the challenges of domestic reform and WW1, though on the first point he was well-liked by congressional colleagues, so would probably have got as many progressive measures through as Wilson did. As for WW1, how well did Wilson do? After failing successively to keep out of war and to bring home a peace treaty acceptable to the Senate, he left his party in an utter shambles, to the point where it suffered near-annihilation (outside the South) in 1920, and remained in eclipse until resurrected by the Wall Street Crash. Could a Clark Administration have done any worse?

Nor am I totally convinced that 1912 "marked 'the birth of modern American politics." From what I can see, the Democrats had been established as the more liberal of the two parties since at least 1896, and the debacles of 1904 and 1924 clearly demonstrated that they had no future anywhere else. Outside the South, conservative Dems had nowhere to go except into the Republican Party. All 1912 really did was reveal the degree to which this had already happened, beyond the power of even a man of Roosevelt's stature to reverse. But it was a vivid marker, and surely destined to continue as one of the most written-about elections in American history. It will stand another look.

One final point. I couldn't resist a smile about the fulsome praise for Germany by both Roosevelt and Wilson. She was highly regarded for her social benefits and the treatment of her workers, and generally viewed as an excellent example to us all. Not quite what they were saying five years later. So it goes.
Centrizius
I have to disagree with the first two reviewers. The author made this a fascinating read in how Wilson won and Taft, Debs, and Roosevelt were the losers. Even before going into the election, Wilson had it sown up. Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote. The Republicans consisted of a Progressive wing and a conservative wing. Taft led the conservative wing and Roosevelt went on to form a Progressive Party out of the liberal wing of the Republican Party. Wilson could count on the solid South and various other states thereby meeting the electoral requirements of winning the election. The solid South consisted of whites who didn't let the black population vote, and Wilson gladly accepted this support. This doesn't show the Democratic Party in its best light. Due to this Wilson won, Taft and Roosevelt lost. I was impressed with both Taft and Roosevelt. When shown written evidence of how Wilson cheated on his wife, both did not sink to the level of using this evidence. Taft was civil throughout the campaign. He knew he was going to lose.

This is a nice short read on an interesting campaign. I think the author put some time in describing the four major candidates and parties, and how they game planed the election. A very interesting read.
anneli
Lewis J. Gould begins his retelling of the story of the US Presidential Election of 1912 with a criticism of previous histories and the promise of new insight, based on his thorough review of source material. This book is certainly well researched and well sourced, but this recounting and analysis of the Presidential election held a century ago doesn't reveal any startling new information or conclusions. Those who know the result of the election know that a split in the Republican party enabled the Democrats to win the 1912 election with the same amount of support that they had lost previous elections with, and that is indeed what happens. Still, it's a very interesting accounting of hope the Republican presidential dynasty that began in 1896 was divided and conquered by a professorial newcomer.

The four hats in the ring that the author speaks of belong to incumbent President William Howard Taft, his predecessor and mentor Theodore Roosevelt, Democratic up and comer Woodrow Wilson, and perennial Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs. Taft, who had been anointed as Roosevelt's successor in 1908, has disappointed his mentor by adopting conservative policies over progressive ones, by having a conflicting opinion to Roosevelt on the efficacy of tariffs, and by aggressively prosecuting monopolistic big business. Roosevelt wants to curtail the power of judges who render unpopular opinions, while Taft is a strong supporter of judicial independence. At first Roosevelt is coy about whether or not he will support Taft's bid for re-election, causing Taft to shore up his internal party support so that by the time Roosevelt challenges Taft for the Republican nomination for President, Taft is able to win the battles for delegates and secure the nomination for re-election at the party convention. Taft's victory causes a split in the party between the conservatives and the progressives, resulting in Roosevelt running as a third party candidate. The author attributes the stubbornness of both men as the root cause of the transformation of the contest from what should have been a close fight into a Democratic trouncing. Roosevelt is portrayed as egotistical and vain, and Taft as someone resigned to losing. He presents a good case for why these are accurate characterizations.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic party, speaker Champ Clark is the presumptive nominee and can't understand how, after securing a majority of delegates he loses his party's nomination to the intellectually superior Wilson. Clark makes the tactical error of getting into a political bed with the corrupt New York party bosses of Tammany Hall, alienating the party's elder statesman William Jennings Bryan and in turn tipping the balance of power to Wilson. Clark snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

Gould suggests that the socialist forces led by Eugene Victor Debs play some role that makes a difference in the outcome of this election, but his recounting of the historic events of Debs campaign suggests the contrary. While Debs increased his party's support to an all-time high for socialists, nothing he does affects the final outcome.

Gould provides an interesting description of the campaign, especially of the one run by Roosevelt and his "Bull Moose" Party. Roosevelt implements a progressive platform ahead of its time, with enlightened notions of women's sufferance, minimum wage laws, laws prohibiting child labor and other programs benefiting the working man. But he sacrifices his principles when he adopts a short-sighted strategy of trying to cut into Democratic support in southern states by adopting policies detrimental to African-Americans. Gould gives the reader insight into internal party squabbles and personality conflicts, campaign miscues, and some of the more memorable events such as the attempted assassination of Roosevelt in Milwaukee, his subsequent convalescence and Wilson's magnanimous gesture of suspending his campaign while Roosevelt recuperated.

Gould's writing can be laborious and pedantic at times, and yet in a concise (187 page) volume he packs in considerable information about the issues, the personalities, the internal party workings, and the campaign. He describes this election as one that changed the face of politics, and makes a strong case for this claim. Although primaries were not yet important enough to select the ultimate nominee, this was the first election where each party held primaries in over 10 states and where they were important in raising the profile of candidates. He also points out how politics were forced to compete with other media events such as sporting events to attract the attention of the public. In an epilogue he describes how the issues and the players developed and evolved following the election and gives an interesting analysis of voter turnout in this and subsequent elections.

This book can not be described as a page turner or as one that is hard to put down. It will not amuse or entertain the reader with only a passing interest in history or politics. But for those of us who are political junkies, the information furnished by Gould is pure heroin. For the reader looking for reliable information and thoughtful analysis, this book delivers.

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