Book Review: The Jazz Age President by Ryan S. Walters

June 25, 2024

About:

The Jazz Age President: Defending Warren G. Harding by Ryan S. Walters makes the case that America’s 29th President was one of the better Chief Executives with an undeserved reputation. Mr. Walters is a historian and educator.

  • 320 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Regnery History
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1621578844

Book Review: The Jazz Age President by Ryan S. Walters
My rating for The Jazz Age President4
Buy The Jazz Age President from Amazon.com*
More Books by Ryan S. Walters*

Thoughts:

This is a short, but very enjoyable book. I didn’t know much about Warren G. Harding when I first started reading the book, and while it’s not and compassing biography I did learn a lot.

The Jazz Age President by Ryan S. Walters concentrates on world affairs during the 2+ years of the Harding presidency. I loved the fact that the author gives the reader historical context, as well as relevant commentary to give the reader an understanding of the issue he’s referring to.

Most of the work, however, is a defense of the legacy of President Warren G. Harding. As he came into office, after Woodrow Wilson’s assault on civil liberties and the economy buckling from World War I, Harding had his work cut out for him. The efforts bore fruit and the country saw a decade of economic expansion not seen before.

Harding’s “America First” policies included reigning in the economy. He reduced government spending, slashed taxes, increased tariffs, and shrank the size of the federal government while reversing Wilson’s racist policies, and championing the hiring of African Americans.

I thought Mr. Walter made his case, that President Harding, inheriting a nation in crisis, led the United States in a laudable manner. Unfortunately, Harding, a good and somewhat naïve man, couldn’t see the corruption of those around him. This reminds me of President Grant who had similar issues.

The book doesn’t ignore the President’s faults. Quite the opposite, they are pointed out but also put up against his accomplishments. Historians treat Harding’s sexual liaisons (two that we know of) much harsher treatment than those of much more “active” Presidents, and his scandals are not any worse than ones in administrations before and after he took office.

The book was very interesting and quite easy to read. Despite its brief number of pages, especially when compared with other presidential biographies, it is interesting and provocative.

Buy The Jazz Age President from Amazon.com*
More Books by Ryan S. Walters*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Jazz Age President: Defending Warren G. Harding by Ryan S. Walters
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Wrap Up

The Jazz Age President: Defending Warren G. Harding by Ryan S. Walters

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