The American Presidents

Millard Fillmore

The American Presidents Series: The 13th President, 1850-1853

Paul Finkelman and Others
    • 3.2 • 14 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

The oddly named president whose shortsightedness and stubbornness fractured the nation and sowed the seeds of civil war

In the summer of 1850, America was at a terrible crossroads. Congress was in an uproar over slavery, and it was not clear if a compromise could be found. In the midst of the debate, President Zachary Taylor suddenly took ill and died. The presidency, and the crisis, now fell to the little-known vice president from upstate New York.

In this eye-opening biography, the legal scholar and historian Paul Finkelman reveals how Millard Fillmore's response to the crisis he inherited set the country on a dangerous path that led to the Civil War. He shows how Fillmore stubbornly catered to the South, alienating his fellow Northerners and creating a fatal rift in the Whig Party, which would soon disappear from American politics—as would Fillmore himself, after failing to regain the White House under the banner of the anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic "Know Nothing" Party.

Though Fillmore did have an eye toward the future, dispatching Commodore Matthew Perry on the famous voyage that opened Japan to the West and on the central issues of the age—immigration, religious toleration, and most of all slavery—his myopic vision led to the destruction of his presidency, his party, and ultimately, the Union itself.

GENRE
Biographies & Memoirs
RELEASED
2011
May 10
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
192
Pages
PUBLISHER
Henry Holt and Co.
SELLER
Macmillan
SIZE
709.1
KB

Customer Reviews

dagrierdc ,

Repetitious and Obscure - only for completionists

Clearly the weakest book is this series of the 8 we have read. It it highly repetitious, even within paragraphs. (The author as a writing tick of restating the topic sentence at the end of each paragraph. More concerning, the book fails to give a picture of Fillmore as a person. It virtually never quotes Fillmore’s letters or speeches. It is fast to denounce him as racist and intolerant without really exploring the motives that might have driven him to embrace those ideas. It provides only the most superficial description of the politics of the time and does so by repeating the same words again and again and again. Somewhere in the published world there has to be a better biography of Fillmore, even if he is as morally and intellectually unfit for the office as this author claims.

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