Day: May 26, 2018

Warren Harding and the Ohio Gang

Presidential History Blog

The term “The Ohio Gang” is misleading. First of all, not all of them were from Ohio.

Warren Harding: A Lackluster Politician

Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) was a lackluster fellow.  His abilities were moderate, not stellar. His ambition for high achievement was only mediocre.  If it required effort, he was happier to decline. His only true gift was friendliness. He was a first-class back-slapper and glad-hander, as natural to him as breathing.

Warren Harding Handsome Warren Harding, the man who “looked like a President.”

Harding was a successful newspaper publisher – a career he fell into as a young man. With his wife, the former Florence Kling, managing the circulation department of the Marion Star, he was free to pursue politics.  Since the local newspaper publisher is always a popular speaker at civic organizations, Harding was happy accept the invitations to “bloviate” as he called it. He “bloviated” himself into the…

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The Decision to Drop the Bomb

Friends of the American Revolution

Alonzo L. Hamby | Journal of American History, Vol. 84, no. 2 (September 1997)

The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth. By Gar Alperovitz. (New York: Knopf, 1995. xiv, 847 pp. $32.50, ISBN 0-679-44331-2.)

The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb. By Dennis D. Wainstock. (Westport: Praeger, 1996. x, 180 pp. $55.00, ISBN 0-275-95475-7.)

The Last Great Victory: The End of World War II, July/August 1945. By Stanley Weintraub. (New York: Dutton, 1995. xvi, 730 pp. j35.00, ISBN 0-525-93687-4.)

Harry S. Truman and the Bomb: A Documentary History. Ed. by Robert H. Ferrell. (Worland, Wyo.: High Plains, 1996. x, 125 pp. $24.50, ISBN 1-881019-12-8.)

History Wars: The Enola Gay and Other Battles for the American Past. Ed. by Edward T. Linenthal and Tom Engelhardt. (New York: Metropolitan, 1996. viii, 295 pp. Cloth, $30.00, ISBN 0-8050-4386-1. Paper, $14.95…

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Warren Harding, The Ladies Man

Presidential History Blog

No doubt about it, Warren G. Harding liked the fillies, but his taste was more toward fast trotters than thoroughbreds.    

 Warren G. Harding and his Duchess

FlorenceHarding Florence Kling DeWolfe Harding was a 30-year old divorcee when she married Warren Harding.

harding w-moustache Warren Harding was a good looking man of twenty-five when he married Florence.

Historians have always wondered why Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) married Florence Kling DeWolfe in the first place.  She was five years Harding’s senior and a divorcée in a time when divorce was stigmatic.   She wasn’t bad looking, but she was no beauty either, and said to have had a whining and unpleasant voice.

It is much easier to understand her attraction to him.  Harding was not only a good looking, well-built fellow of twenty-five, but he was also one of the most popular men in town.  He had an outgoing personality, and made friends easily.  His…

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How MPs resign: The Chiltern Hundreds and the Manor of Northstead


File:Northstead Manor Gardens - - 1717125.jpgNorthstead Manor Gardens, Scalby (1969)

Two parliamentary by-elections took place yesterday in Stoke on Trent and Copeland. During the count one of the resigning MPs tweeted:

This refers to the convention by which MPs cannot just give up their seats. Instead they must apply for an ‘office of profit’ under the Crown which disqualifies them from sitting in the House of Commons. Jamie Reed raises an interesting point – here I will answer the question as well as provide some background on the mysterious process by which an MP can leave Parliament voluntarily.

It was in 1624 that the House of Commons resolved that a man, after he is duly chosen, cannot relinquish”. There are a number of ways…

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Seeing Things As They Are by George Orwell edited by Peter Davison

Books & Boots

The full title is Seeing Things as They Are: Selected Journalism and Other Writings of George Orwell and it does what it says on the tin. This long densely-printed paperback is a treasure trove of Orwell’s best book, film and theatre reviews, along with his BBC radio broadcasts and numerous magazine articles, interviews and short essays. It does not include the full-length, often literary-minded essays – these are collected in a number of other selections.

Peter Davison (b.1926) has devoted his life to editing the 20-volume Complete Works of George Orwell, to identifying and cataloguing everything Orwell ever wrote into one thoroughly annotated, indexed format, first published in 1998. For this massive labour of love Davison was awarded an OBE for services to literature.

In the 480 pages of this handsome Penguin paperback Davison presents a selection of the very best of Orwell’s writings from across his fairly short (20…

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