Coolidge Book Summary - Coolidge Book explained in key points

Coolidge summary

Amity Shlaes

Brief summary

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes is a biography that sheds light on the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge. It explores his conservative economic policies and the lasting impact he had on the American economy.

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    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding the Life of Calvin Coolidge

    In Coolidge by Amity Shlaes, we are taken on a journey through the life of the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. Shlaes begins by painting a picture of Coolidge's early life, growing up in Vermont, where he developed a strong work ethic and a deep appreciation for frugality. These values would go on to shape his political career and his presidency.

    Shlaes then delves into Coolidge's political career, starting with his time as a lawyer in Massachusetts and his rise through the ranks of local and state politics. His reputation for honesty and integrity, combined with his conservative fiscal policies, earned him the nickname 'Silent Cal' and propelled him to the national stage as Vice President under Warren G. Harding.

    The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge

    When Harding died unexpectedly in 1923, Coolidge assumed the presidency. Shlaes provides a detailed account of Coolidge's time in office, highlighting his commitment to reducing government intervention in the economy and his belief in the power of free markets. He cut taxes, reduced the national debt, and vetoed numerous bills that he deemed to be excessive government spending.

    Shlaes also explores Coolidge's approach to foreign policy, particularly his efforts to promote peace and stability in the aftermath of World War I. She credits Coolidge with helping to negotiate the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a multilateral agreement aimed at outlawing war as an instrument of national policy.

    The Economic Policies of Coolidge

    One of the central themes of Coolidge is the president's economic policies and their impact on the country. Shlaes argues that Coolidge's commitment to limited government and fiscal responsibility laid the groundwork for the economic prosperity of the 1920s. She credits his policies with fostering a period of rapid economic growth, low unemployment, and rising living standards.

    However, Shlaes also acknowledges the criticisms of Coolidge's laissez-faire approach, particularly in light of the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. She presents a balanced view, acknowledging the successes of Coolidge's policies while also recognizing their limitations and the challenges that arose in the years following his presidency.

    Coolidge's Legacy

    In the final sections of the book, Shlaes reflects on Coolidge's legacy and his enduring relevance. She argues that his commitment to limited government and individual freedom remains a powerful and important message, particularly in today's political climate. She also highlights Coolidge's personal integrity and humility, qualities that she believes are sorely lacking in contemporary politics.

    In conclusion, Coolidge by Amity Shlaes offers a comprehensive and insightful exploration of the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge. It presents a nuanced portrait of a president who, while often overlooked, played a significant role in shaping the economic and political landscape of his time. Shlaes's engaging narrative and thorough research make this biography a valuable contribution to our understanding of this enigmatic figure in American history.

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    What is Coolidge about?

    Coolidge by Amity Shlaes is a biography that delves into the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge. It offers a fresh perspective on this often overlooked figure in American history, exploring his beliefs in limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the power of the individual. Shlaes presents a compelling narrative that sheds light on Coolidge's legacy and its relevance to contemporary political and economic debates.

    Coolidge Review

    Coolidge (2013) by Amity Shlaes is a thought-provoking book that sheds light on the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge. Here's why it's worth reading:

    • With its detailed research and well-presented facts, the book provides a comprehensive understanding of Coolidge's political career and the impact he had on America.
    • By exploring Coolidge's leadership style and conservative principles, the book offers a fresh perspective on a lesser-known president and his approach to governance.
    • Highlighting the economic and political challenges that shaped Coolidge's presidency, the book presents a nuanced and engaging narrative that keeps readers captivated from start to finish.

    Who should read Coolidge?

    • Readers who are interested in American history and the Roaring Twenties
    • People who want to learn about the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge
    • Those who appreciate well-researched biographies and insights into political leadership

    About the Author

    Amity Shlaes is an author and journalist who has written extensively on economic history and politics. She has held editorial positions at prominent publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Forbes. Shlaes is known for her in-depth research and engaging writing style, which has garnered her critical acclaim. In addition to Coolidge, she has also authored other notable works including The Forgotten Man and The Greedy Hand.

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    Coolidge FAQs 

    What is the main message of Coolidge?

    The main message of Coolidge is that leadership can be defined by simplicity, frugality, and dedication to principles.

    How long does it take to read Coolidge?

    The reading time for Coolidge varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Coolidge a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Coolidge is worth reading for its insights into leadership and governance. It provides a fresh perspective on a lesser-known U.S. President.

    Who is the author of Coolidge?

    The author of Coolidge is Amity Shlaes.

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