*A Man of Iron*

The author is Troy Senik and the subtitle is The Turbulent Life and Improbably Presidency of Grover Cleveland.  Here is one excerpt:

At the age of forty-four, the only elected office Grover Cleveland had ever held was sheriff of Eric County, New York — a role he had relinquished nearly a decade earlier, returning to a rather uneventful life as a whorkaholic bachelor lawyer.  In the next four years, he would become, in rapid succession, the mayor Buffalo, the governor of New York, and the twenty-second president of the United States.  Four years later, he would win the popular vote but nevertheless lose the presidency.  And in another four, he’s become the first — and to date, only — president to be returned to office after having been previously turned out.

His normal work hours were from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. (p.31).  And he was broadly libertarian:

He would be the final Democratic president to embrace the classical liberal principles of the party’s founder, Thomas Jefferson.  Cleveland believed in a narrow interpretation of the Constitution, a limited role for the federal government, and a light touch on economic affairs.  To casual observers, such an approach is often mistaken for do-nothing passivity…that epithet, however, represents a fundamental misunderstanding of his presidency.

…Over the course of his two terms, this led to an astonishing 584 vetoes, more than any other president save Franklin Roosevelt…In his first term alone, Cleveland vetoed more bills than all twenty-one of his predecessors combined.

I am happy to recommend this book, you can buy it here.  I am also happy to recommend the new book by Stacy Schiff, The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, New Yorker coverage here.


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