Calvin Coolidge, the Man Who Is President

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CALVIN COOLIDGE

CHAPTER I
IN WHICH WE STATE OUR THESIS

An introduction to this book seems necessary, that the reader may not begin it under a misapprehension. The book is not a formal biography. It is not an attempt to write a history of the quarter of a century during which Calvin Coolidge has been in politics. The biographical material and the history which the book contains are in it only because they help to explain the man whose story shall follow. The book is a study of a personality.

The monstrous magnification which follows the white light that beats upon a throne, makes every President more or less unique. We see him always somewhat out of drawing. Every daily act and his most casual words are isolated by environing events; not thrown into perspective with the rest of his life. Thus any President becomes in the popular conception a superman, in spite of his ordinary character. Yet sometimes men of odd sizes do come to the White House; men of peculiar qualities, men with areas of exceptional powers. In the fifty passing years, the presidency has shown us three such men:

-3-

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