Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - History - 288 pages
7 Reviews
In the annals of presidential elections, the hotly contested 1876 race between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel J. Tilden was in many ways as remarkable in its time as Bush versus Gore was in ours. Chief Justice William Rehnquist offers readers a colorful and peerlessly researched chronicle of the post—Civil War years, when the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant was marked by misjudgment and scandal, and Hayes, Republican governor of Ohio, vied with Tilden, a wealthy Democratic lawyer and successful corruption buster, to succeed Grant as America’s chief executive. The upshot was a very close popular vote (in favor of Tilden) that an irremediably deadlocked Congress was unable to resolve. In the pitched battle that ensued along party lines, the ultimate decision of who would be President rested with a commission that included five Supreme Court justices, as well as five congressional members from each party. With a firm understanding of the energies that motivated the era’s movers and shakers, and no shortage of insight into the processes by which epochal decisions are made, Chief Justice Rehnquist draws the reader intimately into a nineteenth-century event that offers valuable history lessons for us in the twenty-first.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876

User Review  - Tony - Goodreads

Interesting read. Lots of background on all the actors. Good epilogue discussing the merits of appointing sitting Justices to commissions and such. I will be adding a biography of Rutherford B. Hayes to my reading list. Read full review

Review: Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876

User Review  - Collins Roth - Goodreads

A tough book for anyone but a lawyer to love... the book has its moments, but was ponderous at times. The short length of the book meant the large cast of characters introduced were hard to keep track off, and so made parts confusing. But an interesting time period. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

William H. Rehnquist was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in political science from Stanford University and a second M.A. from Harvard. He graduated first in his class at Stanford Law School in 1952. In 1969 Rehnquist became assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Council. He was confirmed by the Senate as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in December 1971, and took his place on the bench in January 1972. He became the sixteenth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1986. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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