CHAPTER XII
THE COCKED HAT

Don't inquire about how the fight is going to
go--make it go the right way, if you can.

-- W. J. BRYAN TO CHAMP CLARK

AS the thunderings of The Great Commoner reverberated year after year across the rolling plains of Nebraska and over the poverty-stricken brown and white cotton patches of the South, the echoes began to be heard in the corridors of the intelligentsia.

How much Bryan had to do with the muckraking period of 1908-1912, and how much America's criticism of the industrial age arose from a general sense of being thwarted on the part of the common man, one can hardly determine.

Certain it is that The Peerless Leader for at least twelve years was the most dramatic and the most vocal forerunner of this movement. Roosevelt in the Republican camp had also taken up the cry of "trust-busting," but Roosevelt's ancestry, education, family connections and independent income tempered his attacks on big business and for a time left Bryan as the only undisputed, authentic commoner.

Yet the spirit of revolt was finding a voice in lan-

-224-

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Bryan, the Great Commoner
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I- Panorama 1
  • Chapter II- Evolution of the Alpaca Coat 20
  • Chapter III- The Playboy of the Western World 44
  • Chapter IV- The Coup D''état 64
  • Chapter V- Boola Boola 90
  • Chapter VI- St. George 103
  • Chapter VII- Mark Hanna Waves the Flag 115
  • Chapter VIII- Neighbor Bryan 143
  • Chapter IX- An Innocent Abroad 161
  • Chapter X- End of a Candidate 181
  • Chapter XI- The Battle of Grand Island 205
  • Chapter XII- The Cocked Hat 224
  • Chapter XIII- Baltimore 242
  • Chapter XIV- Deserving Democrats 269
  • Chapter XV- The Farmer-Statesman 286
  • Chapter XVI 305
  • Chapter XVII- Grinding Corn for the Philistines 349
  • Chapter XVIII- The Commoner and Al Smith 357
  • Chapter XIX- The Holy War 372
  • Chapter XX- Is Bryanism Dead? 397
  • Bibliography 405
  • Sources 409
  • Index 413
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