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Details about  PRESIDENT WARREN HARDING Life Times 1865-1923 Marion Star OHIO POLITICS Scandals

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PRESIDENT WARREN HARDING Life Times 1865-1923 Marion Star OHIO POLITICS Scandals
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Aug 13, 2013
Starting bid:
GBP 9.99
Approximately US $15.19(including shipping)
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GBP 18.00 (approx. US $27.37) Royal Mail International Standard (Small Packets) | See details
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Item location:
Flamborough, Yorkshire, United Kingdom


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Item specifics

Condition: Used
Seller Notes: A full and detailed description of this item's condition is given in the listing below but please do not hesitate to contact me (gm@resurgambooks.co.uk) if you require any further information.
Subject: Warren Harding American Presidents Language: English
Format: Hardback Condition: Used
Printing Year: 1969


President Harding

His Life and Times : 1865-1923


Francis Russell


This is the 1969 First U.K. Edition


Front cover and spine

Further images of this book are shown below





Publisher and place of publication   Dimensions in inches (to the nearest quarter-inch)
London: Eyre & Spottiswoode   6 inches wide x 9½ inches tall
Edition   Length
1969 [first published in the U.S. in 1968 under the title "The Shadow of Blooming Grove—Warren G. Harding in His Times"].   [xii] + 691 pages
Condition of covers    Internal condition
Original blue cloth. The covers are rubbed and a little patchy. This volume is ex-British Library with an erased shelf number in white ink on the spine. The spine ends and corners are bumped.   This volume is ex-British Library with one stamp on the title page (please see the image below). The Contents page is soiled and grubby. The edge of the text block is finger-marked and lightly foxed. The text is clean throughout.
Dust-jacket present?   Other comments
No   Although ex-British Library, the only evidence I can see for this is the defaced shelf number on the spine and a stamp on the title page.
Illustrations, maps, etc   Contents
There is a portrait frontispiece; no other illustrations are called for.   Please see below for details
Post & shipping information   Payment options
The packed weight is approximately 1500 grams.

Full shipping/postage information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing.

  Payment options :
  • UK bidders: cheque (in GBP), debit card, credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal
  • International bidders: credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal

Full payment information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. 



President Harding
His Life and Times : 1865-1923





i. March 4, 1921
ii. The Shadow of Blooming Grove

iii. The Father

iv. The Son
v. Marion and the Star
vi. Marriage

vii. Ohio Politics

viii. State Senator
ix. Lieutenant Governor
x. Leading Citizen
xi. Two Women
xii. Senator I

xiii. Senator II
xiv. Candidate
xv. The Dark Convention
xvi. President-Elect
xvii. President I
xviii. Scandal

xix. President II
xx. Last Journey
xxi. History

xxii. Centenary



President Harding
His Life and Times : 1865-1923



This book, as it now appears, has a scattering of blank spaces in the text of several chapters where I had originally quoted from Harding's love letters to Carrie Phillips. I have been forced to these deletions because of a restraining order issued by Judge Henry L. Holden of the Court of Common Pleas in Columbus, Ohio, on a motion by Harding's nephew, George T. Harding. This order, which has been "temporarily" in effect now for four years, forbids the publication, production, copying, exhibition, or making any use whatsoever of the letters of Warren G. Harding to Carrie Phillips; and it has served its intended purpose of delaying The Shadow of Blooming Grove.

But rather than postpone my book further, I have decided to publish it, bearing in mind the court order by leaving blanks where quotations from the letters would have appeared. In itself it is a smallish omission, a matter of a dozen or so spaces and some 800 words from a text of 300,000. Yet, to my regret, something of the full flavor of Harding is thereby inevitably deleted. Compared to what is available today at any drugstore book rack, Harding's eroticism as expressed in his letters is naive, and even pathetic as the quality of his mind peeps through the boudoir phrases. In his sexuality he was Adolphe rather than Don Juan. The letters, if they can be considered shocking — as some of them can — are more so because they were written by a President of the United States than through the tumescence of their content. When I first read them I felt a sense of pity for the lonely Harding; for Carrie Phillips was clearly the love of his life, and he was more loving than loved. Eventually, of course, the letters will be published as a part of history. Meanwhile each reader must make his own interpretation of them.

Francis Russell



President Harding
His Life and Times : 1865-1923



With better luck Warren Gamaliel Harding might have gone down in history as another McKinley or Garfield, or at the least the equivalent of a Pierce. After his death his reputation plummeted so quickly that only with the greatest reluctance could a Republican successor be persuaded to dedicate his tomb. As President he has come to be rated last in the hearts of his countrymen, along with Grant, who at least had the merit of being a great general and—as he demonstrated in his memoirs —an impressive writer of English.

Yet, whatever the tone of the Harding administration, one cannot say that it was shot through with scandal when it contained such men as Herbert Hoover, Charles Evans Hughes, and the elder Henry Wallace in the Cabinet and the Harding-appointed Chief Justice William Howard Taft. Other Presidents since have suffered or tolerated scandals in their family and administration without being branded by them. Franklin Roosevelt's reputation never suffered from the marital vagaries of his children or from the financial exploitation of his name by his sons Jimmy and Elliott. That Lucy Rutherford, the woman he had long loved and once wanted to marry, was with him when he died did not discredit him when knowledge of it leaked out two decades later, even though it may have chipped the Eleanor idyll a little.

The "five-percenters," mink coats, and deep freezes current in the Truman administration have receded to a limbo that requires explanation by footnotes, along with such egregious characters as the bumbling General Harry Vaughan, the weeping Assistant Attorney General and the convict-to-be T. Lamar Caudle, and former convict and White House intimate John Maragon. Truman's close association with Kansas City's Boss Tom Pendergast does not seem to be held against him by history, any more than Sherman Adams's debacle has left its mark on Eisenhower. Nor, more recently, do Billie Sol Estes's nimble peculations reflect on Kennedy's presidential years. No incident so gross as that of Johnson's chief aide, Walter Jenkins, being caught in an indecent act in a public lavatory was recorded in Harding's administration. The roguery of Harding's Jess Smith was from all evidence exceeded by that of Johnson's Bobby Baker, and Harding at least repudiated Smith.

Whatever his shortcomings, Harding was personally honest. As President he gambled privately on the stock market (and lost), but he never used his official position to get inside knowledge of a sure thing. His Marion Star was a flourishing paper by the time he came to Washington as a senator, nor did he use his privileges to make it more so. By comparison Senator Lyndon Johnson operated on a lower ethical level when he applied the subtle pressures of his senatorial position to create his Texas radio-television fief, as did General Eisenhower in contriving to have the royalties of his ghost-written Crusade in Europe considered capital gains.

Of course the ad hominem argument that Harding was not the only President touched with scandal does not answer the underlying question: Why have the lapses of other administrations been shrugged away, shelved and forgotten, while his remain a living reproach to his memory? One can say that there were more scandals under Harding—although their number can be exaggerated—and that they were not compensated for by other accomplishments. But I think the real answer is that they lasted so long. The various oil-lease conspiracy trials went on for years, trial after trial. At each election Teapot Dome was ready to be revived as a slogan by the Democrats. Not until six years after Harding's death did his Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall go on trial for receiving a bribe, and not until 1931 did Fall finally go to jail. A generation later the preparations for Harding's hundredth birthday celebration were jolted by the discovery of a number of love letters he had written to another man's wife.

Then, too, the mysteries of Harding's life, because of their very enigmatic quality, have proved more durable and persistent than politics. Was Harding a mulatto? Did he have a child by his mistress? Was he murdered? What were the papers his wife so hastily burned after his death? The questions have continued to be asked and the answers debated long after his budget, his support of the World Court, and his Disarmament Conference—by which he himself felt he would be remembered longest—have been forgotten.

Harding, with his tarnished reputation, has never claimed the serious attention of historians. In this he has been the most neglected of Presidents. His centennial passed without an adequate general biography of him ever having appeared. For the most part his prevailing image has been formed from the journalistic impressions of William Allen White, Mark Sullivan, and Samuel Hopkins Adams, and so thoroughly accepted by scholars that it has scarcely seemed worth while to pursue the image further. Here was a puppet, a handsome straw man with a rhetorical voice and empty head, taken from a small Ohio town by a set of curious chances to the United States Senate, and finally propelled into the presidency by a cabal of reactionary senators and the oil interests. "If ever there was a he-harlot, it was this same Warren G. Harding," White wrote in 1926. Then the image was unforgettably fouled by three meretricious books: the naive chatterings of Harding's girl-mistress, Nan Brit-ton; the psychotic swindler Gaston Means's The Strange Death of President Harding, in which he hints that Harding's wife poisoned her husband to avoid scandal; and former Attorney General Harry Daugherty's apologia in which he deifies himself by claiming to have formed Harding from the Ohio mud.

In spite of the legend, Harding was neither a fool nor a tool, but an astute and able Ohio politician (not the highest breed of that animal) who knew how to get what he wanted—a place in the state senate, the United States Senate, the White House—while all the time disclaiming that he wanted any such thing. Even his weedy rhetoric had a purpose in its attempt by unanchored verbosity and a pleasant manner to reconcile the irreconcilable. Harding was not a creation of Daugherty's. In essence he was nominated for the presidency because he had done the necessary political spadework in the grass roots and because, in one politician's words, he was "everybody's second choice." Harding was the available man, as Andrew Sinclair pointed out in his recent political biography, even though that may not be the most adequate reason for choosing a candidate.

By a twist or two of fate Harding has come to be regarded right, left, and center as the worst President this country ever had; while the President who most resembled him, Dwight Eisenhower, for all his ineptitudes as general and chief executive, has remained the Little Father. One former President is honored, one disgraced in his tomb, yet both are very similar. A political commentator wrote of Harding not long after his death that "he came to office at a time of extraordinary public irritation. Everybody was cross, there had been a deadlock in government for months, and the main occupation of the articulate was in fixing the blame for it on the man or group they did not like." The same words could have been written to describe the "I Like Ike" phenomenon of 1952.

I suspect that Harding and Eisenhower had about the same IQ. Certainly they had the same easy, engaging manner. Both held to the idea —as long as they could—that Congress proposes and the President disposes. Both shared roughly the same cultural values, in life, in books, in music, in art. Both got themselves entangled in the syntax jungles of their mother tongue. Harding longed for a return to "normalcy." Eisenhower felt that the real problem of the world was "malnuition." One was essentially a lieutenant governor manque, the other essentially a lieutenant colonel. Both played compulsive golf. Both had mothers who were religious fanatics; Harding's a Seventh-day Adventist, Eisenhower's a Jehovah's Witness. Both had faith in faith. Neither one made a decision if he could avoid it—and usually he could. I think it is indisputable that this country would have had a better history if General Wood had been elected President in 1920 and Senator Taft in 1952.

With his centenary year past, Harding deserves a biography, not so much for himself—though in many ways his life was more interesting than those of more notable Presidents—but because he came at a dividing point in history, when men moved forward and looked back. The first President after World War I, he was also the first President to be born after the Civil War. His election was in one sense a nostalgic yearning to recapture the years before the war, seen through the imperfect haze of memory, at a moment when twentieth-century America was inevitably if belatedly taking form.



Please note: to avoid opening the book out, with the risk of damaging the spine, some of the pages were slightly raised on the inner edge when being scanned, which has resulted in some blurring to the text and a shadow on the inside edge of the final images.

Some of the illustrations may be shown enlarged for greater detail and clarity.







U.K. Bidders:

To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figures below. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from postage and packaging. Postage can be combined for multiple purchases.


Packed weight of this item : approximately 1500 grams


Postage and payment options to U.K. addresses:
  • Details of the various postage options (for example, First Class, First Class Recorded, Second Class and/or Parcel Post if the item is heavy) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above).

  • Payment can be made by: debit card, credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex), cheque (payable to "G Miller", please), or PayPal.

  • Please contact me with name, address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item.



International Bidders:

To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figures below. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from shipping and handling.

Shipping can usually be combined for multiple purchases (to a maximum of 5 kilograms in any one parcel with the exception of Canada, where the limit is 2 kilograms).


Packed weight of this item : approximately 1500 grams


International Shipping options:

Details of the postage options to various  countries (via Air Mail) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above) and then selecting your country of residence from the drop-down list. For destinations not shown or other requirements, please contact me before bidding. Tracked and "Signed For" services are also available if required, but at an additional charge to that shown on the Postage and payments page, which is for ordinary uninsured Air Mail delivery.

Due to the extreme length of time now taken for deliveries, surface mail is no longer a viable option and I am unable to offer it even in the case of heavy items. I am afraid that I cannot make any exceptions to this rule.

Payment options for international bidders:
  • Payment can be made by: all major credit cards (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex) or PayPal. I can also accept a cheque in GBP [British Pounds Sterling] but only if drawn on a major British bank.

  • Regretfully, due to extremely high conversion charges, I CANNOT accept foreign currency : all payments must be made in GBP [British Pounds Sterling]. This can be accomplished easily using a credit card, which I am able to accept as I have a separate, well-established business.

  • Please contact me with your name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item

Prospective international bidders should ensure that they are able to provide credit card details or pay by PayPal within 7 days from the end of the auction (or inform me that they will be sending a cheque in GBP drawn on a major British bank). Thank you.



(please note that the book shown is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of this auction)

Book dimensions are given in inches, to the nearest quarter-inch, in the format width x height.

Please note that, to differentiate them from soft-covers and paperbacks, modern hardbacks are still invariably described as being ‘cloth’ when they are, in fact, predominantly bound in paper-covered boards pressed to resemble cloth.



Fine Books for Fine Minds

I value your custom (and my feedback rating) but I am also a bibliophile : I want books to arrive in the same condition in which they were dispatched. For this reason, all books are securely wrapped in tissue and a protective covering and are then posted in a cardboard container. If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund. Unless the size of the book precludes this, hardback books with a dust-jacket are usually provided with a clear film protective cover, while hardback books without a dust-jacket are usually provided with a rigid clear cover.

The Royal Mail, in my experience, offers an excellent service, but things can occasionally go wrong. However, I believe it is my responsibility to guarantee delivery. If any book is lost or damaged in transit, I will offer a full refund.

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Resurgam Books
Geoffrey Miller
The Manor House
Flamborough, Bridlington
East Riding of Yorkshire
YO15 1PD
United Kingdom


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If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund, including return postage. All books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard container.

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