James Buchanan

The American Presidents Series: The 15th President, 1857-1861

The American Presidents

Jean H. Baker; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

Times Books

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A provocative reconsideration of a presidency on the brink of Civil War

Almost no president was as well trained and well prepared for the office as James Buchanan. He had served in the Pennsylvania state legislature, the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate; he was Secretary of State and was even offered a seat on the Supreme Court. And yet, by every measure except his own, James Buchanan was a miserable failure as president, leaving office in disgrace. Virtually all of his intentions were thwarted by his own inability to compromise: he had been unable to resolve issues of slavery, caused his party to split-thereby ensuring the election of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln-and made the Civil War all but inevitable.

Historian Jean H. Baker explains that we have rightly placed Buchanan at the end of the presidential rankings, but his poor presidency should not be an excuse to forget him. To study Buchanan is to consider the implications of weak leadership in a time of national crisis. Elegantly written, Baker's volume offers a balanced look at a crucial moment in our nation's history and explores a man who, when given the opportunity, failed to rise to the challenge.

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  1Ascension–from Stony Batter to the Cabinet, 1791–1848Born in 1791, James Buchanan was almost as old as the United States, a point of pride throughout his life. The location of his birth, in a log cabin at the foot of North Mountain in the Alleghenies of southern Pennsylvania, was no accident. James Buchanan, Sr., had chosen Stony Batter, in Cove Gap, Franklin County, for its economic opportunities. His decision to live and later buy a trading post there eventually ensured his prosperity.An orphaned immigrant from County Donegal in northwest Ireland, twenty-two-year-old James

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About the Author

Jean H. Baker; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

Jean H. Baker is a professor of history at Goucher College. She is the author of several books, including The Stevensons and Mary Todd Lincoln, and is at work on a book about the suffrage movement. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Jean H. Baker
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Stan Rudick
Jean H. Baker

Dominique Nabokov
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James Buchanan
The American Presidents Series: The 15th President, 1857-1861
Jean H. Baker; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Times Books
June 2004
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805069464
ISBN10: 0805069461
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 192 pages
$25.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Times Books
June 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429998406
ISBN10: 1429998407
192 pages
$11.99
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