|A dazzling panorama of presidential personalities,
ambitions, plots and counter-plots—and of a
newly-modern America at the crossroads—
grounded in solid historical research, insightful
social commentary, a compelling and innovative
structure, and riveting historical profiles.
In 1920, a record six past, present, or future chief
executives eye the great prize of the Presidency, each
with a unique style and vision of the office and the
Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Rider himself.
President. Historian. Cowboy. Police Commissioner.
Trust-Buster. Explorer. Naturalist. Big-Game Hunter.
Noble Prize-winner. He has been president once—and
wants the job again. Only the hand of God can keep
him from the White House in 1920.
Woodrow Wilson: Brilliant, eloquent, progressive, and
self-confident. But also bigoted, self-centered,
stubborn, and messianic. He desperately plans for a
League of Nations to prevent future wars, but lacks the
diplomatic and political skills to sell the idea either at
home or abroad. In the bargain, he fatally
compromises article after article of his Fourteen Points
and sows the seeds of another war. "Woodrow Wilson
is an exile from the hearts of his people," says Eugene
V. Debs, "The betrayal of his ideals makes him the
most pathetic figure in the world." An October 1919
stroke leaves him too crippled to lead the nation, but
the nation is never told. Fantastically, he clings to
hopes of an unprecedented third term.
Warren G. Harding: Ohio small-town newspaper
editor, Republican politician, and serial adulterer. His
strengths: he looks like a president, sounds like a
president (if you don't listen too carefully), and is
sufficiently vague on the issues to be nominated.
"America's present need," he intones, "is not heroics,
but healing; not nostrums but normalcy." America
Calvin Coolidge: Silent Cal. The taciturn Vermonter
who became Massachusetts's coldly efficient
governor. His actions during the September 1919
Boston police strike ("There is no right to strike against
the public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime")
make him presidential timber. In Chicago, the GOP
convention stampedes and anoints him its vice-
Herbert Hoover: The Great Engineer. International
gold mining adventurer. Multi-millionaire. Savior of
war-ravaged Europe's starving masses. A political
progressive and member of the Wilson administration.
A national hero. In 1920 Hoover wants to be president
but has one big problem: he can't decide if he's a
Republican or a Democrat.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Wilson's ambitious, but not yet
properly-seasoned, under secretary of the Navy. If the
Republicans can't nominate a dead Roosevelt, the
Democrats will nominate a live one—Franklin—for
|Featured on C-SPAN (BookTV)'s
After Words, interviewed by
ABC News Correspondent Ann Compton
Order a DVD
|From the Publisher:
The presidential election of 1920 was among history's
most dramatic as six once-and-future presidents—
Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Harding, Hoover, and Teddy
and Franklin Roosevelt—jockeyed for the White House.
With voters choosing between Wilson's League of
Nations and Harding's frontporch isolationism, 1920's
election shaped modern America like no other.
Women won the vote. Republicans outspent Democrats
by 4 to 1, as voters witnessed the first extensive
newsreel coverage, modern campaign advertising, and
results broadcast on radio. We had become an urban
nation—automobiles, mass production, chain stores,
and easy credit transformed the economy. 1920 paints a
vivid portrait of America, beset by the Red Scare, jailed
dissidents, Prohibition, smoke-filled rooms, bomb-
throwing terrorists, and the Klan, gingerly crossing
|Named by Richard Norton Smith on
C-SPAN as one of his favorite presidential
|#1 Amazon Sales Ranking in Five Non-Fiction Categories
#1 Amazon Sales Ranking in Five Non-Fiction Categories
"an unbelievable book you should read"—Glenn Beck
|A Selection of the:
|David Pietrusza discusses September 16, 1920's
deadly Wall Street bombing with
WCBS-TV's "Eye on New York" host Dana Tyler.