Book Review: Chester A. Arthur: The Accidental President

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Regnery History

Chester A. Arthur: The Accidental President. John M. Pafford.  Regnery History, September 17, 2019; $29.99

Editor’s Note: A rich New Yorker who has never held an elected position (does this sound currently familiar?) was thrust into the highest governmental position in the United States, the American presidency. He came from the federal civil service system which was rift in cronyism and deep in the bent looting system.

 Arthur was chosen as a running mate for James Garfield, to heal the political party and was not chosen for his political prowess.  The Garfield assassination thrust Arthur into a three- and one-half year “accidental” presidency that he was not groomed for.   But guess what! Chester Arthur brought himself up to speed as he remade the federal government, ignoring the patronage system that fueled his career. He also supported civil service reform.  He rebuilt America’s navy, which had gone into disarray post-Civil War and allowed it to become a world power.

After his death, in 1886, Alexander McClure, a newspaper editor, wrote, “No man entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired…more generally respected.”

About the Author: John M. Pafford, Ph.D is a retired professor of history and philosophy at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, and the author of Cleveland: The Forgotten Conservative, as well as biographies of Russell Kirk and John Jay.

Sometimes a book/person (President Chester A. Arthur in this case) cannot be judged by its cover…….Carol

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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