Book Review: William McKinley and His America

William McKinley and His America, Revised Edition. By H. Wayne Morgan. (Kent: Kent State University Press, 2003. vii, 488 pp. Hardcover, $55.00, ISBN 0-87338-765-1.)

History has not been kind to presidents elected from Ohio.  The Buckeye State’s native sons are remembered as less-than-stellar chief executives, responsible for sins ranging from scandal to lechery, or as colorless party hacks who left little impact on the nation.  William McKinley has often fallen into this latter category, portrayed as an indecisive and dull-witted puppet of big business.  Four decades ago, H. Wayne Morgan challenged these generalizations with the publication of William McKinley and His America.  What emerged was a refreshingly different McKinley: independent, strong-willed, and sympathetic to the working masses.  Fresh on the heels of the centennial of McKinley’s presidency, Kent State University Press has released Morgan’s revised and expanded biography of America’s twenty-fifth commander-in-chief. Continue reading Book Review: William McKinley and His America