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The Presidency of James K. Polk by Paul H. Bergeron - and Dusinberre again

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  • Evelyn Radecke
    Hi, Polk Appreciators, If you care to learn about a Polk Biography by a writer who obviously admires his subject, take a look at
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 4, 2006
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      Hi, Polk Appreciators,

      If you care to learn about a Polk Biography by a writer who
      obviously admires his subject, take a look at
      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0700603190?v=glance
      and read the reviews.

      I'm just about reading it and I'm favourably impressed. The first
      reader's review could have been written by me, except for the remark
      that the style is rather academic. I did not perceive this. To me it
      read rather easy.

      Meanwhile I also read "Slavemaster President", appreciating the
      first part as a thouroug examination more than before knowing it. As
      for the second part I did not bother to read it completely. I found
      a bias in it that annoyed me, and I will never be convinced of
      Dusinberre's theory that Polk's activities as a slaveholder had such
      a great influence on his activities as a politician.

      Ken's remark: "I tend to believe that most presidents are neither
      Gods nor monsters. Rather, they inherit difficult problems for which
      there are no easy answers, only easy criticisms." is downright
      true.

      With kind regards

      Evelyn.
    • Ken S
      Thank you for sharing this information with the group Evelyn. Frankly, I had dismissed the Bergeron biography summarily without reading it, believing it to be
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2006
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        Thank you for sharing this information with the group Evelyn.
        Frankly, I had dismissed the Bergeron biography summarily without
        reading it, believing it to be part of a mass-produced set of
        presidential biographies that are usually very superficial. It
        appears from your review that I was quite wrong to leap to this
        conclusion. I look forward to reading this when I catch up on the
        books I have in the cue.

        As for Dusinberre, like you I was not impressed by the author's bias
        against Polk and how he concluded that since Polk was a slaveholder,
        he was beyond redemption. I concede that Polk had his faults. Polk's
        mistrust of others prevented him from delegating, which no doubt led
        to the workaholism which shortened his life. But to write all of
        Polk's accomplishments off for being a slaveholder, a common
        practise in the 1840's which people at the time believed to accord
        with biblical teachings, is unfair. Perhaps someday we may be
        similarly branded as evil by future generations for practices that
        seem natural to us today. (For example, will future generations
        brand those of us who drive automobiles as evil environmental
        pillagers?)

        I always enjoy your comments and appreciate your taking the time to
        share them with the group.

        -Ken

        --- In James_K_Polk_Appreciation@yahoogroups.com, "Evelyn Radecke"
        <e.radecke@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi, Polk Appreciators,
        >
        > If you care to learn about a Polk Biography by a writer who
        > obviously admires his subject, take a look at
        > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0700603190?v=glance
        > and read the reviews.
        >
        > I'm just about reading it and I'm favourably impressed. The first
        > reader's review could have been written by me, except for the
        remark
        > that the style is rather academic. I did not perceive this. To me
        it
        > read rather easy.
        >
        > Meanwhile I also read "Slavemaster President", appreciating the
        > first part as a thouroug examination more than before knowing it.
        As
        > for the second part I did not bother to read it completely. I
        found
        > a bias in it that annoyed me, and I will never be convinced of
        > Dusinberre's theory that Polk's activities as a slaveholder had
        such
        > a great influence on his activities as a politician.
        >
        > Ken's remark: "I tend to believe that most presidents are neither
        > Gods nor monsters. Rather, they inherit difficult problems for
        which
        > there are no easy answers, only easy criticisms." is downright
        > true.
        >
        > With kind regards
        >
        > Evelyn.
        >
      • Evelyn Radecke
        Hi, if I come to think of it, you may be nevertheless right about Bergeron being a bit superficial. My own political understanding is superficial and I
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 8, 2006
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          Hi,

          if I come to think of it, you may be nevertheless right about
          Bergeron being a bit superficial. My own political understanding is
          superficial and I understood well what he said so far, so I did not
          notice. I did not yet finish reading the book. Stuck up in the
          Mexican war after reading the last chapters before. Going on reading
          I'll keep your remark in mind. Maybe it was wise for you to skip the
          book while it was wise for me to read it. I'll report.

          On the other hand Bergeron is one of the editors of Polk's
          correspondence. So I thought he knows his subject better than most
          other biographers. I just enjoyed that he is in favour of Polk
          albeit he also finds faults. What really pleased me is that he took
          the trouble of dwelling on the human being James K. Polk and his
          amiable features.

          As for Dusinberre, I agree with you as I did from the start. Every
          era has its slaveries.

          So long

          Evelyn

















































          --- In James_K_Polk_Appreciation@yahoogroups.com, "Ken S"
          <rule62ken@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Thank you for sharing this information with the group Evelyn.
          > Frankly, I had dismissed the Bergeron biography summarily without
          > reading it, believing it to be part of a mass-produced set of
          > presidential biographies that are usually very superficial. It
          > appears from your review that I was quite wrong to leap to this
          > conclusion. I look forward to reading this when I catch up on the
          > books I have in the cue.
          >
          > As for Dusinberre, like you I was not impressed by the author's
          bias
          > against Polk and how he concluded that since Polk was a
          slaveholder,
          > he was beyond redemption. I concede that Polk had his faults.
          Polk's
          > mistrust of others prevented him from delegating, which no doubt
          led
          > to the workaholism which shortened his life. But to write all of
          > Polk's accomplishments off for being a slaveholder, a common
          > practise in the 1840's which people at the time believed to accord
          > with biblical teachings, is unfair. Perhaps someday we may be
          > similarly branded as evil by future generations for practices that
          > seem natural to us today. (For example, will future generations
          > brand those of us who drive automobiles as evil environmental
          > pillagers?)
          >
          > I always enjoy your comments and appreciate your taking the time
          to
          > share them with the group.
          >
          > -Ken
          >
          > --- In James_K_Polk_Appreciation@yahoogroups.com, "Evelyn Radecke"
          > <e.radecke@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi, Polk Appreciators,
          > >
          > > If you care to learn about a Polk Biography by a writer who
          > > obviously admires his subject, take a look at
          > > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0700603190?
          v=glance
          > > and read the reviews.
          > >
          > > I'm just about reading it and I'm favourably impressed. The
          first
          > > reader's review could have been written by me, except for the
          > remark
          > > that the style is rather academic. I did not perceive this. To
          me
          > it
          > > read rather easy.
          > >
          > > Meanwhile I also read "Slavemaster President", appreciating the
          > > first part as a thouroug examination more than before knowing
          it.
          > As
          > > for the second part I did not bother to read it completely. I
          > found
          > > a bias in it that annoyed me, and I will never be convinced of
          > > Dusinberre's theory that Polk's activities as a slaveholder had
          > such
          > > a great influence on his activities as a politician.
          > >
          > > Ken's remark: "I tend to believe that most presidents are
          neither
          > > Gods nor monsters. Rather, they inherit difficult problems for
          > which
          > > there are no easy answers, only easy criticisms." is downright
          > > true.
          > >
          > > With kind regards
          > >
          > > Evelyn.
          > >
          >
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