It’s ironic really - the whitewashing of flawed heroes of the new left is very similar to a LOT of previous “lost cause” scholarship on Confederate military types. It is no coincidence that books like Grant attracted so much attention roughly around the same time Confederate statues were being pulled down. Hamilton and Grant, Seward, and a few others are getting the Washington and the Cherry Tree treatment.
I like reading about people with warts... everybody has them. That’s why Chernow has disappointed me more than once. He is too protective of the people he writes about. I like Grant better for the reality of who he was. Great general, sh1tty President. There’s nothing wrong with that. And Chernow’s Grant was not near the exaggeration as Chernow’s Hamilton.
What are your thoughts on david mccullough? I’m reading his book on Truman and it’s alright. I get the sense that Truman was a geeky dandy who had no business running anything.
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That sounds more like Barkley, his VP. As I mentioned the fly-on-the-wall White House photographer for the Truman admin is a neighbor of mine. He says 'Uncle Harry" was blunt to the point of rudeness - Ed heard him tell a Congressman "you need to brush your teeth, your breath stinks". Barkley on the other hand he presents as exactly the kind of dandy described above. The significant others of two of Barkley's great-granddaughters were regulars on the local bluegrass scene for years and one of them was a bandmate when we played on A Prairie Home Companion a couple of decades ago.
You guys don't fuck with me. I know people.