A Plodding Penn

A Plodding Penn

William Penn: A Life Andrew R. Murphy Oxford University Press, 2018. Hardcover, 488 pages, $35. Reviewed by Carl Rollyson By the time William Penn (1644–1718) received his charter in 1681 from King Charles II for a new American colony he was already behind the times....
Calhoun, Compromise, and Consequence

Calhoun, Compromise, and Consequence

Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants by H. W. Brands. Doubleday, 2018. Hardcover, 432 pages, $30 Reviewed by Carl Rollyson Henry Clay (1777–1852), John Calhoun (1782–1850),...
The Last Years of Theodore Roosevelt

The Last Years of Theodore Roosevelt

TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, The Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy by David Pietrusza. Lyons Press, 2018. Hardcover, 424 pages, $35. Reviewed by Carl Rollyson TR’s Last War is about an ex-president who believed he could not retire from history. Too...

The McKinley Mystery

President McKinley: Architect of the American Century by Robert W. Merry. Simon & Schuster, 2017. Hardcover, 624 pages, $35.This biography’s bold subtitle announces Robert W. Merry’s revisionist project. In the popular imagination, McKinley is a nondescript,...

Diana Trilling’s Search for a Hero

The Untold Journey: The Life of Diana Trilling by Natalie Robins. Columbia University Press, 2017. Hardcover, 424 pages, $33.“In the actual conduct of our lives Lionel and I silently accepted the premise that my first responsibility was to my home and family.” So...

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