Thurlow Weed, Wizard of the Lobby

Thurlow Weed, Wizard of the Lobby

Thurlow Weed, Wizard of the Lobby

Thurlow Weed, Wizard of the Lobby

Excerpt

Thurlow Weed's life was filled with color and excitement. Energetic and ambitious, warm and vibrant in personality, singularly gifted as he was in the management of men, his career was laid in a nineteenth-century America that was a land of opportunity. Wealth and power beckoned on every hand. Weed sought and found both and there was good theater in the doing, high drama of the sort that he loved.

I have tried to tell Weed's story with fairness and impartiality. It is worth telling because it illustrates the fact that Whigs and Republicans, as well as Democrats, made great contributions to the development of American society. It is worth telling as a behind-the-scenes portrayal of the workings of American politics, and because it brings out the ways and means by which an individual may obtain great political power in a democracy such as ours. It is worth telling because the Dictator (as Weed was called by friend and foe alike) was an altogether remarkable man.

The research and writing that have gone into this book were spread over a period of eight years, and during that time I received aid and encouragement from many quarters. It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I acknowledge my obligations to Dexter Perkins, who read the manuscript, gave sound advice, and in innumerable ways made easier the path of scholarship; to Allan Nevins, who encouraged the undertaking, and whose careful reading of the manuscript and constructive suggestions have been of the greatest value; to the American Council of Learned Societies for a grant-in-aid that came at a crucial time; to Alan Valentine for his friendly interest and encouragement; to Mrs. Thomas G. Spencer, Mrs. Walter D. Blair and Mrs. H. Emerson Tuttle for . . .

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