FREE Delivery in the UK.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships from USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. A tradition of quality and service.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Coolidge Hardcover – 12 Feb 2013

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£28.72
£28.72 £17.44
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
£28.72 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 565 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (12 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061967556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061967559
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,049,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"History has paid little attention to the achievements of Coolidge because he seemed to be unduly passive. Yet Amity Shlaes, as his biographer, exposes the heroic nature of the man and brings to life one of the most vibrant periods in American economic history."--Alan Greenspan

"To read Amity Shlaes's well-crafted biography is to understand why Reagan so admired the famously reticent man whom Shlaes calls 'our great refrainer.'"--George F. Will

"Amity Shlaes's extraordinary biography describes how a single politician can change an entire political culture -- a story with plenty of echoes today. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, doyenne of the Washington salons, first disdained Coolidge, then admired him. After reading Coolidge, every reader will, too."--Anne Applebaum

"A marvelous book that is in many respects as subtle and powerful as Coolidge himself. Shlaes's masterly command of economics, policy, and personal portraiture illustrates the times, talents, character, and courage of the consummate New Englander."--Mark Helprin

""Coolidge" is a welcome new biography of a great American president. Amity Shlaes shines fresh light on a leader of humble persistence who unexpectedly found himself in the presidency and whose faith in the American people helped restore prosperity during a period of great turmoil. Amidst today's economic hardships and an uncertain future, Shlaes illuminates a path forward -- making "Coolidge" a must-read for policymakers and citizens alike."--Paul Ryan

"Timely and important. . . . The research is exhaustive, and the political and economic analysis sound."--"The Wall Street Journal"

"With a deft finger on today's conservative pulse, Shlaes portrays Calvin Coolidge as a paragon of a president by virtue of his small-government policies."--"The New York Times Book Review" -- Editor's Choice

"Amity Shlaes's rich new biography reminds us that Calvin Coolidge must not be forgotten in our era of staggering government deficits and poisoned political rhetoric. . . . A finely muted drama."--"USA Today"

"America's 30th president has been much misunderstood. . . . Shlaes's biography provides a window onto an unfairly tarnished period. It deserves to be widely read."--"The Economist"

"Shlaes impresses readers with the single-mindedness of Coolidge's pursuit. . . . For the next decade or so, it may be Amity Shlaes who has custody of Coolidge's reputation."--Thomas Mallon, "The New Yorker"

"Amity Shlaes's new biography ushers in a long-overdue rehabilitation of the 30th president. . . . "Coolidge" is a compelling, endlessly rewarding, and persuasive contribution to historical scholarship."--"The Weekly Standard"

"Amity Shlaes's new biography carries a different and highly relevant message. . . . Read "Coolidge," and better understand the forces bearing on the President and Congress almost a century later."--Paul Volcker

"Coolidge" is a welcome new biography of a great American president. Amity Shlaes shines fresh light on a leader of humble persistence who unexpectedly found himself in the presidency and whose faith in the American people helped restore prosperity during a period of great turmoil. Amidst today s economic hardships and an uncertain future, Shlaes illuminates a path forward -- making "Coolidge" a must-read for policymakers and citizens alike. --Paul Ryan"

History has paid little attention to the achievements of Coolidge because he seemed to be unduly passive. Yet Amity Shlaes, as his biographer, exposes the heroic nature of the man and brings to life one of the most vibrant periods in American economic history. --Alan Greenspan"

To read Amity Shlaes s well-crafted biography is to understand why Reagan so admired the famously reticent man whom Shlaes calls our great refrainer. --George F. Will"

Amity Shlaes s extraordinary biography describes how a single politician can change an entire political culture -- a story with plenty of echoes today. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, doyenne of the Washington salons, first disdained Coolidge, then admired him. After reading Coolidge, every reader will, too. --Anne Applebaum"

A marvelous book that is in many respects as subtle and powerful as Coolidge himself. Shlaes s masterly command of economics, policy, and personal portraiture illustrates the times, talents, character, and courage of the consummate New Englander. --Mark Helprin"

Coolidge is a welcome new biography of a great American president. Amity Shlaes shines fresh light on a leader of humble persistence who unexpectedly found himself in the presidency and whose faith in the American people helped restore prosperity during a period of great turmoil. Amidst today s economic hardships and an uncertain future, Shlaes illuminates a path forward -- making Coolidge a must-read for policymakers and citizens alike. --Paul Ryan"

Amity Shlaes s new biography carries a different and highly relevant message. . . . Read Coolidge, and better understand the forces bearing on the President and Congress almost a century later. --Paul Volcker"

Timely and important. . . . The research is exhaustive, and the political and economic analysis sound. --The Wall Street Journal"

With a deft finger on today s conservative pulse, Shlaes portrays Calvin Coolidge as a paragon of a president by virtue of his small-government policies. --The New York Times Book Review -- Editor's Choice"

Amity Shlaes s rich new biography reminds us that Calvin Coolidge must not be forgotten in our era of staggering government deficits and poisoned political rhetoric. . . . A finely muted drama. --USA Today"

America s 30th president has been much misunderstood. . . . Shlaes s biography provides a window onto an unfairly tarnished period. It deserves to be widely read. --The Economist"

Shlaes impresses readers with the single-mindedness of Coolidge s pursuit. . . . For the next decade or so, it may be Amity Shlaes who has custody of Coolidge s reputation. --Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker"

Amity Shlaes s new biography ushers in a long-overdue rehabilitation of the 30th president. . . . Coolidge is a compelling, endlessly rewarding, and persuasive contribution to historical scholarship. --The Weekly Standard" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Calvin Coolidge never rated high in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s triumphant years in which the nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus and the little-known president behind them. Perhaps more than any other president, Coolidge understood that doing less could yield more, reducing the federal budget even as the economy grew, wages rose, taxes fell, and unemployment dropped.

In this illuminating, magisterial biography, Amity Shlaes captures the remarkable story of Calvin Coolidge and the decade of extraordinary prosperity that grew from his leadership.

" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
0
3 star
1
2 star
1
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By MarkK TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Few presidents have fallen as far as Calvin Coolidge. A popular president during his time in the White House, his standing plummeted with the onset of the Depression and the retroactive discrediting of his administration's policies that were associated with it. Yet in recent years a number of conservative writers have challenged this view, offering a contrasting interpretation of Coolidge as a presidential paragon. In this respect Amity Shlaes is merely the latest in a long line of writers stretching from Thomas B. Silver to Robert Sobel who seek to rehabilitate Coolidge's historical reputation so as to make him a respectable example of presidential leadership for our own times.

Yet it seems that the only way that Shlaes can achieve this goal is by ignoring the many criticisms directed against Coolidge's presidency. Rather than acknowledging any role that his low-tax, minimalist-regulation agenda might have played in fueling the speculative mania that led to stock market crash of 1929 or the depression that followed, she prefers to depict his administration as having achieved a perfect economic environment that was humming along smoothly when the keys were handed over to his successor. Throwing Herbert Hoover under the bus by blaming him for the collapse that followed is not only grossly unfair, it defies the evidence of an economy in the 1920s that was nowhere near as healthy as Shlaes would like to admit. Moreover, it undermines her goal, as rather than give Coolidge's achievements a full reexamination that would address the criticisms she does little more than offer a selective portrait that only serves to reaffirm the beliefs of the like-minded.

This is unfortunate considering the effort she put into her work.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is about Calvin Coolidge, a Vermonter who rose to become America's 30th President in the mid 1920s (he was initially Harding's Vice President, until Harding's death).

This wasn't a bad book. It read pretty well, and moved at a good lick. My problem is that I think it doesn't necessarily bear comparison to other American political biographies I've read lately.

Don't get me wrong, it's a decent enough read in its own right (even if it portrays Coolidge as someone who never saw a buck he didn't know how to stretch), it's just compared to Caro's book about Johnson in the Senate, this book just doesn't feel as well researhed or well written.

If you've not read Caro's book, you'll probably enjoy this one better.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 463 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, no. 16 Jun. 2016
By Christopher Fotos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hate to ding this book after enjoying the tour de force of The Forgotten Man, but I couldn’t get over the feeling these books were written by two different people. Of course, the Great Depression and every calamity that came with it must be a far easier subject, and Shlaes broke new ground, at least in the popular imagination, in showing how destructive much of FDR’s legacy is.

But this book kept putting me to sleep. I agree with another reviewer that the best chapter by far is the one covering the Boston police strike, which was more violent and chaotic than I realized. Again, somewhat easy to write about. But Shlaes glided over other dramatic opportunities like the Teapot Dome scandal, one of the most celebrated (probably the wrong word) examples of U.S. government corruption up to that time. The convulsions of the stock market after Coolidge’s term, same thing. It’s just a very matter-of-fact retelling. With the arrival of FDR, Shlaes writes about the reversal of virtually everything Coolidge worked for in such a low key one almost wonders why anyone should care.

And yes, for my taste, there is too much detail about secondary figures, people appearing and disappearing without any sense you needed to be introduced to them at all.

It’s a shame because Coolidge is very important, much-neglected president. Now, most reviews here are very positive so perhaps it just arrived on my desk at the wrong time. But for anyone new to Shlaes who is equally disappointed but retains an interest in the next chapter, run, don’t walk, to get your hands on the Forgotten Man. Shlaes writes about the Forgotten Man in a way that makes that the Indispensable book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Information! 26 Jun. 2016
By Anonomous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to read this book to understand how conservative policies in Washington was perceived prior to a Reagan Presidency. How far we have come! What an amazing humble man!! Truly a man of character! A must read for all to understand what our educational system glosses over! You have to think that living within your means is still admirable! Since the elites of today, no matter what party because they are one and the same, look down on the common man and seek control over every aspect of life! It is a wonder our society still has free thinkers in a sea of blood thirsty snakes! Calvin Coolidge was a man who lived in a time when things were a lot simpler, maybe not, maybe we just need to get back to the basics! And what is so wrong with people of good character? People do not trust each other anymore! It is a very sad state of affairs! I say, people just put your hands back in your pockets and just get to work! And start believing in ourselves and each other again! There is a lot we can learn from history!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A detailed biography of the return to normalcy through spending cuts, tax cuts and non-intervention abroad 8 April 2013
By Vern McKinley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amity Shlaes has a knack for timing regarding her major historical books. In 2007, The Forgotten Man was published just as our economy was tanking and heading for one of the deepest downturns of the past 80 years.

In her new book on Coolidge she looks at a President who took office as the country was winding down from a period of pointless war and in the aftermath of a deep recession (1920 to 1921), not unlike our experience in the 2009 to 2013 period. She reveals how government can most certainly respond to those circumstances by ratcheting back on the size and scope of government to its pre-war level, including cutting tax rates dramatically, rather than ascending to a newly heightened level of permanently sustained government as we have done by 2013. Her detailed analysis shows that such an alternative Coolidge strategy led to a boom in the economy as opposed to a period of pitifully weak economic growth that we have today. The economy was transformed during the 1920s from 5.7 million people out of work to one with 1.8 million people out of work and from a cumulative debt of $28 billion down to $18 billion.

Shlaes starts with Coolidge’s simple upbringing and his process for learning the value of thrift and savings and the scourge of debt which informed his later capacity in getting the federal government’s budget under control. In her detailed account, she shows that Coolidge is not unlike leaders like Reagan and Thatcher who grew up as a product of relatively modest means as opposed to some of the plutocrats that have been the Republican standard bearers in recent days (the Bushes and Romney).

The book then traces his political development as he matured during the Cleveland Administration and began to advance in politics during the Progressive period of Theodore Roosevelt. His later presidency would actually seem to show him to have learned much from Cleveland and his hesitancy to have the government spend in areas where the constitutional basis was questionable and the use of the pocket veto. In his later years he clearly moved away from the populist, interventionist tone (both domestically and internationally) of the Roosevelt days.

As the book moves into the Coolidge presidency after the brief tenure of President Harding, the extraordinary detail that is revealed regarding the effort of Coolidge in scrutinizing and bringing under control the federal budget with his budget director Herbert Lord is probably the most memorable storyline covered throughout the period of his presidency, along with the related sale of his plan by Treasury Secretary Mellon to cut tax rates from the sky high levels of the war (top rates in the 70s down to top rates in the 20s). It is hard to imagine our most recent two Presidents getting their hands dirty in applying this degree of scrutiny to the budget as Coolidge did. The book also reveals Coolidge’s fortitude in standing up to spending on veteran pensions and flood relief, two areas that were subjec to demagoguery by those who opposed Coolidge, but he was right to stick to his position that these were both areas where the states should take the lead.

The book also shows the clear contrast between Coolidge and his successor, Hoover who he derided as a wonder boy who was much more willing to take an “activist” position in addressing issues such as government spending and (ultimately) an economic downturn that would occur after Coolidge’s time in office.

Some areas that were a bit weak for me that I was interested in hearing more detail about in the Coolidge years was his stance on tariffs, which Shlaes briefly describes along with his conclusion that protectionism had been “successful in practice.” Clearly this was one area where Coolidge strayed from a market approach and it may have contributed to the economic problems during the 1930s. It also gives minimal coverage to immigration issues another area where Coolidge diverged from a market approach in signing the Immigration Act of 1924 which imposed quotas on immigration. But, overall it is an excellent study in contrast of our 30th president.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We could stand to learn from Coolidge today. Let's remember him better than we do. 23 Aug. 2013
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since the rise of the Progressives with Theodore Roosevelt and especially Woodrow Wilson and FDR, the age of ever larger and ever more expensive and ever more powerful centralized government has been a fact of life in our national culture. But this wasn't always so and any real understanding of American History would show the past century for the break it really was with our Founding and way our Constitutional Republic was intended to operate.

Calvin Coolidge was a very popular president between Wilson and Harding and then Hoover and FDR. He came to Washington D.C. as Harding's vice-President and only became President when Harding died in August of 1923. Coolidge completed that term and won his own four year term from 1925 to 1929. He almost certainly could have won another term because of his popularity despite some of the complications during his tenure as President. However, he understood the changing tide in American politics and felt alienated from where the country seemed to want to go and decided not to run. Coolidge saw economic disaster coming and said to secret service agent Edmund Starling, during one of their walks, "Well, they're going to elect that superman Hoover, and he's going to have some trouble. He's going to have to spend some money." He went on, "But he won't spend enough. Then the Democrats will come in and they'll spend money like water. But they don't know anything about money." Prophetic wasn't it.

Woodrow Wilson took our national debt from just under $3 billion to almost $24 billion during his eight years in office. Harding actually REDUCED the national debt (not slowing its growth, which counts for cutting today) by more than $1.5 billion during his few years as President. Coolidge (supported by a truly great Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon) took our national debt from just over $22 billion to under $17 billion when he left office. Think about it. In just over five years he was able to produce national prosperity as well as reduce our national debt by more than 20%. This would be equivalent to our next president taking our debt, which will be nearly $20 TRILLION when he or she takes office, and reducing our debt to $16 TRILLION. Do you see any chance of it even not growing? I do not.

But, you see, Coolidge and Mellon understood the power of a sound budget and they realized the freedom and flexibility a person, an organization, a state, or a nation has when it lives within its means and puts money aside for future emergencies. If spending beyond one's means ever benefits someone you can be sure it is never the person taking on the debt. Coolidge understood this down to his bones and we would do well to relearn it from him. Of course, along with the tax cuts that contributed to the prosperity of the 1920s, Coolidge and Mellon also trimmed back government spending. THEY DID NOT RUN DEFICITS (if they had they would have added to rather than reduced the national debt). Imagine trying to get such a program through any state or Congress today; let alone the Whitehouse.

Shlaes helps us see Coolidge as a human being and his rise in politics as a complicated process of learning and deciding how to express his own values in politics. When he began as a young politician the Progressive movement was popular in BOTH parties and there is no doubt that Coolidge began as a supporter of the Progressive ideas of more government developing national infrastructure in order to develop the country. However, he soon realized that just making more laws and spending more and more money was not what he believed did the taxpayers any net good. He thought too many laws became counterproductive and more government spending wasn't "free" but incredibly costly. Of course, Coolidge was correct. And the century since his Presidency has proven him more correct than he probably could have believed during his lifetime.

He had many moments in his career when it would have been easier to make a more popular choice, but he made the hard choice in the police strike and in the huge floods of 1927 and 1928. And while it cost him with some voting blocs, his national popularity grew.

Why didn't Coolidge run again? As he said, he felt the times had changed. He also saw how the Presidency had worn on and may have been seen to kill Wilson and Harding. Coolidge was also clearly not over losing his own 16 year old son while in office and considered Calvin Coolidge Jr's death a direct cause of his being President. There is also no secret that his wife, Grace (to whom he was devoted), wanted to go home and leave politics. And his own health may have been weaker than he let on. He died in January of 1933, so there is no certainty that he would not have died in office even if he had won. The strain of another campaign and the stress of the Presidency might well have killed him as it had Wilson and Harding (and others). The Presidency of the United States is a tough gig.

We were blessed by having such a man as President and do ourselves a terrible disservice by not remembering him and learning from him as we should. Amity Shlaes has provided us with a very fine biography that I hope you will read and use as a basis for thinking more about our national history and what Coolidge's example could mean for us in fixing the national morass we find ourselves in today.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Saline, MI
5.0 out of 5 stars Coolidge - A must read for anyone who loves American history. 10 Nov. 2016
By HB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reagan patterned his presidency after Coolidge's, and anyone who wants to know why should ready this very insightful biography. The author is definitely engaged, did all the research, and knows her stuff. Some of the backstory is a little disjointed in a few spots, but it has the advantage of leaving the reader with no unanswered questions. The most enlightening sections for me were Coolidge's handling of the police union strike as Governor, his efforts at expense cutting after WWI, and "scientific taxation." The latter established that raising taxes beyond a certain point will actually lower tax revenues. Finding that tipping point meant increasing revenues to the government by also lowering the burden to the public, an art form that has been lost since Reagan.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback