Dark Horse

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Kenneth Ackerman, Nov 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 496 pages
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Capitol Hill veteran Kenneth Ackerman re-creates an American political landscape where fierce battles for power unfolded against a chivalrous code of honor in a country struggling to emerge from the long shadow of the Civil War. James Garfield's 1880 dark horse campaign after the longest-ever Republican nominating convention, his victory in the closest-ever popular vote for president, his struggle against bitterly feuding factions once elected, and the public's response to his assassination is the most dramatic presidential odyssey of the Gilded Age-and among the most momentous in our nation's history. This journey through political backrooms, dazzling convention floors, and intrigue-filled congressional and White House chambers, reveals the era's decency and humanity as well as the sharp partisanship that exploded in the pistol shots of assassin Charles Guiteau, the disgruntled patronage-seeker eager to replace the elected Commander-in-Chief with one of his own choosing.

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Dark horse: the surprise election and political murder of President James A. Garfield

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Gilded Age political culture is associated with corruption and gaudiness behind a veneer of Victorian repression. Washington lawyer Ackerman (The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and Black Friday ... Read full review

Review: Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield

User Review  - Joe - Goodreads

Reads more like a novel rather than a doctoral dissertation. Sure-handed pacing and dramatic tension; straightforward chronological narrative without commentary or glossing. I couldn't put it down. If I were a poli-sci dean, I'd put this on the required reading list. Reading level: easy. Read full review


The Feud April
The Great Contest 1880

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About the author (2011)

Kenneth D. Ackerman is also the author of BOSS TWEED: The Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York; YOUNG J. EDGAR: Hoover and the Red Scare, 1919-1920; and THE GOLD RING: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and Black Friday 1869.

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