“The Presidency of William McKinley” by Lewis Gould was published in 1980 and is a member of the American Presidency Series (sponsored by the University Press of Kansas). Gould is Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Texas and is the author of several books including “The Modern American Presidency” and “The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.”
Given the focus of the American Presidency Series, it is not surprising that Gould’s book is less a biography of McKinley than it is a critical dissection and analysis of his presidency. And although the opening chapter briefly introduces a young McKinley to the reader, it is far too quick a meeting even for speed-dating.
The author begins his analysis of McKinley’s presidency by tearing down the second term of his predecessor, Grover Cleveland. But despite this potentially inauspicious start, Gould demonstrates virtually no other bias…
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