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I agree with the reviewers who praised the book. Peskin in one of those rare biographers who probes critical issues in studies of famous politicians like a skilled surgeon, getting to critical facts that others miss. Thus, the heavily referenced Wikipedia biographical notes presents many favorable aspects of Garfield's presidency, like his appointment of a number African Americans to federal office. He expressed concern about the growing repression of black population in the South - facilitated by Hayes' withdrawal of federal troops. He also supported the civil service proposals prepared by Hayes. But the Wikipedia article glosses over the fact that Garfield reverted substantially to the spoils system for high presidential appointments, which led to Carl Schurz's refusal to serve in his administration..  

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