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John C. Calhoun : a biography /
Irving H. Bartlett.
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.
413 p. : ill.
More Details
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1993-09-15:
Bartlett ( Wendell and Ann Phillips , Norton, 1982; Daniel Webster , Norton, 1981) examines in detail the life and career of one of the South's great men. He reveals the highlights of Calhoun's career: his role as a war hawk in Congress in 1812, his almost total reformation of the War Department as Secretary of War under President Monroe, and his many clashes with a paranoid but popular Andrew Jackson. He also details Calhoun's family life, revealing a man who appears to be very different from the persona cultivated in public. But, as Bartlett shows, Calhoun's most historic role was as the creator of the concept of nullification, which was a response to the Tariff Crisis of 1824. Calhoun's prime concern was how a state may protect itself against unjust and unconstitutional Federal legislation. A well-wrought study written in an accessible style; highly recommended.-- Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Appeared in Choice on 1994-11:
Bartlett (Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston) has written an outstanding biography of the antebellum South's leading political figure. Author of a widely acclaimed study of Daniel Webster, Bartlett touches all the bases in this well-rounded and comprehensive study that is of manageable length. Born and raised in the South Carolina up-country, Calhoun later attended Yale and studied law. Politics, however, was the calling for the enormously ambitious Calhoun. Not unlike his contemporaries Clay and Webster (two-thirds of "The Great Triumvirate"), he thirsted for the presidency. An early nationalist, he became the leading states rights advocate of his time. His A Disquisition on Government and A Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States (1852) remain seminal pieces in American political philosophy of the middle period. Bartlett employs shrewd psychological insight; he does a good job of "humanizing" his subject at least to the extent possible, given Calhoun's cold, "cast-iron" personality. Bartlett's book might not be quite as extensively researched as John Niven's John C. Calhoun and the Price of Union (Ch, May'89), but it is a better written and more sprightly account and is likely to be the standard work on the subject for the foreseeable future. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. G. Weisner; Springfield Technical Community College
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, August 1993
Booklist, September 1993
Library Journal, September 1993
Choice, November 1994
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