Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Hardings Scandalous Legacy by Phillip G. PayneDead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Hardings Scandalous Legacy by Phillip G. Payne

Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Hardings Scandalous Legacy

byPhillip G. Payne

Paperback | December 1, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info

$36.65 online 
$39.95 list price save 8%
Earn 183 plum® points
Quantity:

Ships within 3-5 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

2009 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title


If George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the saints in America’s civil religion, then the twenty-ninth president, Warren G. Harding, is our sinner. Prior to the Nixon administration, the Harding scandals were the most infamous of the twentieth century. Harding is consistently judged a failure, ranking dead last among his peers.

By examining the public memory of Harding, Phillip G. Payne offers the first significant reinterpretation of his presidency in a generation. Rather than repeating the old stories, Payne examines the contexts and continued meaning of the Harding scandals for various constituencies. Payne explores such topics as Harding’s importance as a midwestern small-town booster, his rumored black ancestry, the role of various biographers in shaping his early image, the tension between public memory and academic history, and, finally, his status as an icon of presidential failure in contemporary political debates. Harding was a popular president and was widely mourned when he died in office in 1923; but with his death began the construction of his public memory and his fall from political grace.

In Dead Last, Payne explores how Harding’s name became synonymous with corruption, cronyism, and incompetence and how it is used to this day as an example of what a president should not be.
Phillip G. Payne is an associate professor of history at St. Bonaventure University in western New York, where he teaches courses in United States and public history. He worked for the Ohio Historical Society at the Warren G. Harding Home.
Loading
Title:Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Hardings Scandalous LegacyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:December 1, 2008Publisher:Ohio University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:082141819X

ISBN - 13:9780821418192

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Payne’s reappraisal of the Harding myth is first-rank scholarship and makes an impressive contribution to the debates about the life and misfortunes of Warren Harding. Summing Up: Essential.”
— Choice