The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century

The President and the Assassin McKinley Terror and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century A SWEEPING TALE OF TURN OF THE CENTURY AMERICA AND THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCES THAT BROUGHT TWO MEN TOGETHER ONE FATEFUL DAY In as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial e

  • Title: The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century
  • Author: ScottMiller
  • ISBN: 9781400067527
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A SWEEPING TALE OF TURN OF THE CENTURY AMERICA AND THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCES THAT BROUGHT TWO MEN TOGETHER ONE FATEFUL DAY In 1901, as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial expansion, an assassin s bullet shattered the nation s confidence The shocking murder of President William McKinley threw into stark relief the emerging new world order of whaA SWEEPING TALE OF TURN OF THE CENTURY AMERICA AND THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCES THAT BROUGHT TWO MEN TOGETHER ONE FATEFUL DAY In 1901, as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial expansion, an assassin s bullet shattered the nation s confidence The shocking murder of President William McKinley threw into stark relief the emerging new world order of what would come to be known as the American Century The President and the Assassin is the story of the momentous years leading up to that event, and of the very different paths that brought together two of the most compelling figures of the era President William McKinley and Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist who murdered him.The two men seemed to live in eerily parallel Americas McKinley was to his contemporaries an enigma, a president whose conflicted feelings about imperialism reflected the country s own Under its popular Republican commander in chief, the United States was undergoing an uneasy transition from a simple agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse spreading its influence overseas by force of arms Czolgosz was on the losing end of the economic changes taking place a first generation Polish immigrant and factory worker sickened by a government that seemed focused solely on making the rich richer With a deft narrative hand, journalist Scott Miller chronicles how these two men, each pursuing what he considered the right and honorable path, collided in violence at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.Along the way, readers meet a veritable who s who of turn of the century America John Hay, McKinley s visionary secretary of state, whose diplomatic efforts paved the way for a half century of Western exploitation of China Emma Goldman, the radical anarchist whose incendiary rhetoric inspired Czolgosz to dare the unthinkable and Theodore Roosevelt, the vainglorious vice president whose 1898 charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba is but one of many thrilling military adventures recounted here Rich with relevance to our own era, The President and the Assassin holds a mirror up to a fascinating period of upheaval when the titans of industry grew fat, speculators sought fortune abroad, and desperate souls turned to terrorism in a vain attempt to thwart the juggernaut of change.Praise for The President and the Assassin A panoramic tour de force Miller has a good eye, trained by years of journalism, for telling details and enriching anecdotes The Washington Independent Review of Books Even without the intrinsic draw of the 1901 presidential assassination that shapes its pages, Scott Miller s The President and the Assassin is absorbing reading What makes the book compelling is that so many circumstances and events of the earlier time have parallels in our own The Oregonian A marvelous work of history, wonderfully written Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World A real triumph BookPage Fast moving and richly detailed The Buffalo News A compelling read The Boston Globe One of Newsweek s 10 Must Read Summer Books

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    1 thought on “The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century”

    1. That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime - to set an example - and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.William McKinley Scott Miller used the assassination of President William McKinley as the centering point of this historical overview of the events at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century that brought America forward as a world power. This book came out almost at the same time as Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Mur [...]

    2. Scott Miller has written a popular history of the assassination of President William McKinley, and the political and social climate leading up to the fateful day in 1901. He used a two-pronged approach in writing the book. Chapters dealing with McKinley's presidency alternate with chapters involving the anarchy movement and his assassin, Leon Czolgosz. The chapters about the history of the anarchists are often set up to a decade earlier in time than the McKinley chapters, but the two timelines m [...]

    3. Quite an interesting book about America and the man (McKinley with help from Teddy Roosevelt) that had a vision for imperialism and economic expansion in the latter part of the 19th century, the radical aspects and actions of anarchic thought and its main figures of the time (Emma Goldman, Albert Parsons and Johann Most, just to name a few) and the eventual murder of a beloved President that had the ambition to take a developed society to the forefront of being a superpower in the world for year [...]

    4. A very readable popular history of the beginnings of American imperialism as we know it today, linked to McKinley's assassination. Prior to reading this, I had known that there were many cycles of boom and bust in the Gilded Age, but I'd had no idea that it was due in no small part to full-throttle production. According to the wisdom of the times, it was cheaper to produce more with smaller profits than tailor output to fit demand and make larger profits. Therefore, by the time the mid 1890s rol [...]

    5. The late 19th century was a bumping time for much of America. With the pesky Gold versus Silver standard thing out of the way (think of the troubles it would cause if the Fed started buying up Bitcoins), McKinley was able to swagger into office amid a boom in American production and exports. Railroads are crisscrossing the nation, we’re fighting over a whole bunch of islands and coming to the conclusion that we’d pretty much be doing the entire world a disservice if we refused to get at leas [...]

    6. Great bit of history. There was much more to learn other than the obvious details of President McKinley's assassination. Most notably, the US move into the 20th century and the era in which it took it's place as one of the world powers. There were a lot of unanswered questions about my countries history that were satisfied within these pages. Well worth the read.

    7. bestpresidentialbios/2015/“The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century” is Scott Miller’s 2011 tale of McKinley’s presidency – and of his assassination. Prior to writing this book Miller spent almost two decades as a correspondent for Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.Two things are immediately obvious to readers of this popular history. First, despite the fact it covers much of McKinley’s life in one form or another, this is not [...]

    8. The President and the Assassin is a great book about an underappreciated President and a relatively unknown assassin. The author goes back and forth between President McKinley and his assassin Leon Czolgosz.I will start with President McKinley’s great accomplishments. First, exports nearly doubled going from $833 million in 1896 (when McKinley took office) to 1.5 billion when he was unfortunately murdered.Workers wages increased, cotton, wheat and corn prices climbed and inventions for conveni [...]

    9. This is an interesting telling of a period of American history that I knew little about. This follows the rise of William McKinley from his humble beginnings in Canton, Ohio to the White House, and his eventual assassination. It also follows the end of the gilded era in the United States and the rise of the progressive era. At the epicenter is the Industrial Revolution and the fight for workers rights.I didn't really expect this book to be a full history of Pres. William McKinley but that's what [...]

    10. I was debating going between 3 and 4 stars for this but ultimately erred low.While the synopsis does say that it is "the story of the momentous years leading up to that event", I feel like that doesn't adequately portray just how much of the book isn't about the assassination. There is the opening chapter and the last 40 or so pages, and that's it. The rest is about anarchism, McKinley's and Czolgosz's paths, the Spanish-American war It's just so much about other things that I feel it should hav [...]

    11. Quick Review: Scott Miller is a fucking idiot.Long Review:Wow, what a nightmare of a historical narrative. Asides from being blatantly biased, Scott Miller really did his best to give the most distorted view of anarchism available in paperback. Chapter Five, "The Government is Best Which Governs the Least", takes the cake. In the last pages of this chapter, Scott Miller offers us his view of the history of anarchism. This mostly breaks down to ol' Josiah Warren and his commune. Miller doesn't bo [...]

    12. If you are a fan of narrative history that is well written and provides an engaging story with a tinge of analysis then Scott Miller’s THE PRESIDENT AND THE ASSASSIN should be of interest. Miller has written a dual socio-political biography of William McKinley through his assassination in 1901, and the development of anarchism in the United States zeroing in on Leon Czologosz, McKinley’s assassin, and other anarchists including Emma Goldman. As you read the book many comparisons to contempor [...]

    13. Since I live near Buffalo and had recently visited the Roosevelt inauguration site, I jumped at the opportunity to borrow and read this book. I knew a small amount about McKinley's assassination, that it happened at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo and was carried out by anarchist, Leon Czolgosz. This book details the lives of McKinley and Czolgosz until their paths met on September 06, 1911. They came from very different backgrounds and while McKinley headed a country on its path to gobal [...]

    14. This must be my week for late 1800's intrigue. I just reviewed Candice Millard's strong "The Destiny of the Republic" about the events surrounding the murder of James Garfield and now I turn to Scott Miller's "The President and the Assassin" which travels not too dissimilar ground in the assassin of Wm. McKinley. Millard tells the better story, but Miller had the better material. History, to have impact, needs theater and relevance in its telling, and our great historians (Shelby Foote, David Mc [...]

    15. Absolutely fantastic! Miller tells the parallel stories of President McKinley and his anarchist assassin Leon Czolgosz. Teddy Roosevelt, Emma Goldman, Andrew Carnegie, Johann Most, William Jennings Bryan and many other important figures make appearances in this drama. Throughout my reading of the book, I was struck by how little I knew about turn of the century America and the McKinley presidency. Why is that? The Spanish-American War, occupations of the Phillipines, Guam, Cuba, the dawn of US i [...]

    16. This book was amazing if only for the fact that I learned so much about the US and their foreign policies of the early 1900's. The story of our involvement with Hawaii, Guam, Cuba and the Philippines is all in there. Amazing what just one president did.It is also the story of the assassin that killed him and I think the author did an amazing job going back and forth between the two stories and keeping us interested in what what going on with both men.Finally, I was shocked at how similar things [...]

    17. I was admittedly more interested in learning more about the anarchist movement at the turn of the century than the Spanish-American War but the book devotes most of its time to McKinley and his expansionist policy. The parallels between McKinley's overseas policies and Bush's two wars and anarchy in the Gilded Age as our modern day terrorism are subtle yet well drawn.

    18. My junior high history teacher — going back to the mid 1960s — told me to read this book during a phone conversation we had several months ago. I’m glad I did my assignment.“The President and the Assassin” started slowly. I didn’t think, early on, that I would finish it. About a third into to it, though, my interest picked up. At the halfway mark, I was hooked.Scott Miller provides the reader with a dose of late 19th and early 20th century politics, an overview of the rise of anarchi [...]

    19. Highly recommend. This book changed my view of Teddy Roosevelt, YET again. I feel like he's someone in history I admire, but also see how they are basically a self-made monster. Teddy always had that aspect in his character--his way of constantly testing himself through a series of harsh experiences--the plains, Africa, his final crazed River of Doubt voyage--and the one thing he always wanted was war. His father paying his way out of the Civil War, was one of those things that haunted him I thi [...]

    20. This book begins with President McKinley's reception at the Pan-American Exposition, and Leon Czolgosz walking up to him and pulling a gun. I thought, well, that's it. That's the assassination of the President. What is the rest of the book going to be about? The rest of the book backs up and looks into all the political, economic, and military events shaping the American of 1901, and into the lives of McKinley and Czolgosz. McKinley was an affable, somewhat bland man who hated conflict. He was e [...]

    21. Miller is a good writer and it is a smooth read. The turn of the last century is a fascinating time in American history. He does a pretty good job of showing how the US empire grew. The idea of juxtaposing President McKinley's life against that of the man who killed him was a good one. It does give you a certain sense of the time.It is clear; however, where Miller's politics lie. Not surprisingly, a man who worked for the Wall Street Journal and graduated from Cambridge does not have a lot of lo [...]

    22. A big Thank You to the author, Scott Miller, for writing this book! Objective and very informative (without getting tedious), this book offers a good overview of (and is a great way to learn about) the era of McKinley's presidency (1896-1901), including the Spanish-American War and the annexation of Hawaii. McKinley truly seems to have been a real decent man and a devoted husband. The author also gives his readers a lot of information on that period's economic & geopolitical contexts, such a [...]

    23. This book by Scott Miller takes us into a journey to the times surrounding the assassination of president McKinley; rather than focus specifically on the assassination, which receives only cursory coverage, the author focuses on the political and social times with special emphasis on the rise of American overseas imperialism and anarchy in the USA.We follow varied characters in different times as the main storyline builds onto the fateful shooting in Buffalo New York in September 1901.I found th [...]

    24. Terrorists lurk inside the country. They publish venom toward the whole system. Bombings demonstrate they’re capable of what they threaten. But it’s not present day. It’s 1901. The nation just re-elected by a landslide a beloved Republican president credited with pulling the country out of recession with tariffs and pro-business policies and vaulting it into the first rank of world powers by defeating Spain and the Boxer rebels in China. Then, while he attended a magnificent display of Ame [...]

    25. This was a First Reads win. I really enjoyed the book and learned quite a bit about a time I did not know much about. I usually read earlier U S history and have never really found earlier parts of the 1900's and late 1800's that interesting. This book changed my mind about those periods in time. We have all heard of the Maine, the Rough Riders and the assisination of President McKinley but this book gives you an interesting look at this history in greater detail. I learned several things about [...]

    26. This was a great read. Much more than a history of Presdient McKinley and the assassin who killed him. This really is a good history of the anarchist movement at the turn of the 20th century. So more than just an assassin, the book explores many of the key people in this movement, and their affect on history culminating in the assassination of McKinley.

    27. Well, that was fascinating. My sad American public education jumps from Washington to Lincoln to (F.D.) Roosevelt and certainly never included utopian communities, labor movements, or the American island empires. I stopped many times while reading this book to do some side reading about Edward Bellamy, Emma Goldman and gangrene. What better praise to an author than to inspire further research? I'd love to follow this up with something drawing parallels between the rich-poor disparity, leftist mo [...]

    28. Fascinating history of the McKinley presidency and the anarchism movement in the U.S. Didn't know anything about Emma Goldman before this.

    29. Who would have guessed that the story of William McKinley's presidency could be transformed into a great romantic era thriller? To relate history in such a a suspenseful manner requires a particularly well written narrative, with, of course, attention to factual accuracy, and without gratuitous sidebars of opinion that frequently interrupt the flow of biography and historical writing. This book fires away on all cylinders. Scott Miller sets the stage for the McKinley assassination in the opening [...]

    30. Interesting at parts. The long Afterword brought this rating down a star. No real necessity for such a long Afterword. I didn't have much problem with the lengthy discussion of the Spanish-American War, history of anarchy, etc but I wasn't crazy about the recapping of the previous 300 pages. Not really all that much detail about the medical mess made of McKinley and his missing bullets, which is something I thought would be included. There are also other books that go further Czogolz and his mot [...]

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