Marcus Alonzo Hanna: His Life and Work

Marcus Alonzo Hanna: His Life and Work

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Marcus Alonzo Hanna: His Life and Work

Marcus Alonzo Hanna: His Life and Work

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Before beginning the story of Mark Hanna's life and work I want to claim the unprejudiced attention, even of those readers who may be predisposed against him. His personality and his career are entitled to the fair and serious consideration of his opponents in politics and economics. They have a value apart from and beyond the controversies in which they were entangled during his own life, and in which, from the point of view of many Americans, they are still entangled. I do not underemphasize the difficulties of giving a fair account of Mr. Hanna's life or of passing a disinterested judgment on a man whose public action involved so much bitter contention and who so recently died. Grave as those difficulties may be, this book is an attempt to overcome them. It must stand or fall on the attempt.

Like all strong and capable men who fight hard for their own political purposes and opinions, Mr. Hanna made many friends and many enemies. He was loved and trusted by his friends as have been very few American political leaders. He was abused and distrusted by his enemies with no less ardor. At the outset of his public career the varying estimates of him as a man were determined chiefly by the judgments passed upon his political purposes and methods. For years he could not obtain an unprejudiced hearing, unless it were from his political allies. He was denounced as the living embodiment of a greedy, brutalized and remorseless plutocracy; and this denunciation infected the opinion of many members of his own party who had no knowledge of the man. Gradually, however, the public estimate of him improved. As his personality became better known, and as his political opinions became more fully expressed, the popular caricature of Mark Hanna began to fade from the public mind. The fair-dealing characteristic of his own attitude towards other men aroused a corresponding attitude towards him on the part of a large part of the . . .

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