Harding was a pretty-boy President whose administration was defaced by a series of ugly scandals. As Russell shows, here, it could not be otherwise for Harding brought to the presidency a tarnished legacy of smalltown boostering and urban ward politics; the President and his gang were probably no worse than anybody else. To document this, Russell presents nearly every word Harding ever wrote or spoke publicly, including debate addresses and some very bad verse. Here also are a spate of rather trivial family and domestic details, which show the Hardings' relation to the boom era morality that typified America generally. Russell, who likes to have things all ways (in Tragedy at Dedham he established the case for Sacco and Vanzetti's innocence, but asserted he would have voted guilty) projects Harding as an expansive, simple, home-town personality who was, of course, no better than he should be. The book accepts the rough-and-tumble morals of the time, and questions why the scandals of more recent administrations have faded while Harding's (1921-1923) are so well remembered.