JOHN COIT SPOONER by Dorothy Ganfield Fowler

JOHN COIT SPOONER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Spooner was a brilliant orator who rose from a career as a railroad road solicitor to a political role here defined in the sub title, as ""Defender of Presidents"". He had represented powerful interests before the Wiscons in legislature and in Washington and early story includes documented records of the rise of great railroad and lumber com. The shift of public favor from the fabulous tycoons in the era of the muckrakers cosed little threat to the short, powerful, prudent man who knew both politics and law. After a term in the Senate (1885-88), he returned to law and party politics, and concentrated for a time on mending his personal finances. Then, with the incoming Republican tide, is was returned to the Senate after 1893 and was involved in every important political, legal and economic scramble of the growing nation. His wife detested living in Washington, and reluctantly he declined McKinley's appointment as Attorney General. Hated by LaFollette, was close to Theodore Roosevelt, although some of his political associates viewed the doubtable President with suspicion. Before his death in 1919, Spooner returned to private life and amassed a small fortune in real estate and stock speculation. Throughout his years of public service, he was regarded as a vigorous and efficient statesman, but the reform drives that followed have nearly obliterated his memory, even in his home state. This fills a gap in American political history, but only students of the subject will find the book worth their time. For the average reader the long dissertations on legal cases become tedious, and his role as Defender of Presidents seems a dubious claim.

Publisher: University Publishers