Saturday, March 18, 2017

Coit’s Calhoun


Want to learn about one of the greatest statesmen that the United States has ever produced?  Then get hold of John C. Calhoun: American Portrait by Margaret Coit.

When this beautifully-written book received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1951, it was generally agreed that Coit had redeemed Calhoun as a major and admirable, even heroic, figure in American history.  Even “liberal” historians of that time agreed.  One result was that a U.S. Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy selected Calhoun as one of the five greatest Senators of all time.

How the times have changed!  But Coit’s book has not changed and is still a marvelous correction to presently-distorted history as well as a stellar example of the biographer’s art.

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