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I put this book aside after Chapter 5 It is fictional biography which substitutes adjectives and supposition for the elegant presentation of evidence The author skillfully contextualizes and humanizes Calhoun but does not provide a nuanced exposition of his political philosophy or principled machinations. [[ EBOOK ]] ↮ John C. Calhoun: American Portrait ↷ JOHN C CALHOUN American Portrait BY MARGARET L COFT THE UNION, NEXT TO OUR LIBERTY, MOST DEAR Illujtratttt Ftfeettfibe Cambrtoge HOIKJITON MIFFLIN COMPANY BOSTON COPYRXCHT, SO, BY MARGARET L, CO IT ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INCLUDING TIIK RIGHT TO REPRODUCE THIS BOOK OR PARTS THEREOF IN ANY FORM CAMRCDOX IN TH Aifnii K AS StmiTAMY R Frtim Llu JHirtraif Hv Jtrfm VV Ji Y Jarvis In Ihr Of The Army, Lnnnm F U T MITT IN OTHER AlSri Acknowledgments FIRST, I Want To Express My Gratitude To My Editors At Houghton Mifflin Company, Paul Brooks, Dorothy De Santillana, Craig Wylie, And Esther Forbes, Who With Infinite Patience And Understanding Have Worked With Me On This Book Through The Years Special Thanks Are Also Due Arthur M Schlesinger, Junior, Of Harvard, Who Read American Portrait While It Was Still In Manuscript, And To Whom I Am Indebted For Enlightenment On Ob Scure Aspects Of The Slavery Question, And On The Modern Significance Of Calhoun S Philosophy I Have Accepted Without Material Alteration His In Terpretation Of Calhoun S State Of Mind In The Years Of Decision , As Depicted In The Age Of Jackson Bernard DeVoto Of Cambridge Also Read This Book In Its Original Eleven Hundred Pages Of Manuscript, And Is Responsible For Pruning Of Much Surplus Material, And For Directing My Attention To The Significance Of The Soil Depletion In The Southern States And The Interrelationship Of The Consequent Western Expansionist And Abolitionist Movements I Wish To Thank Little, Brown And Company For Permission To Quote From Claude M Fuess Daniel Webster, Two Volumes, Boston, Charles Scribners Sons For Quotations From Margaret Bayard Smiths The First Forty Years Of Washington Society, Gaillard Hunt, Editor, New York, E C McClurg And Company, Publishers Of Eva E Dyes Me Lougkttn And Old Oregon, Chicago, John Perry Pritchett, For Mate Rial Quoted From His Calhoun And His Defense Of The South, Pougbkeepsie, The Chapel Hill Press For Quotations From The Reminiscences Of William C Preston, Minnie Clare Yarborough, Editor, Copyright By The University Of North Carolina Press, And Especially G P Putnams Sons, For Quotations From The American Heresy By Christopher Hollis, Copyright By Christopher Hollis The Search For The Essence Of Calhoun Must, Of Course, Begin In His Own South Carolina At Clemson Agricultural College His Great Mass Of Per Sonal Papers And Other Contemporary Material Were Made Available To Me And I Wish To Express My Thanks To Tt E Librarian, Miss Cornelia Graham, To Professor And Mrs A G Holmes And Professor Mark Bradley For Their VU ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Assistance I Am Deeply Grateful To Mrs Francis Calhoun, Who Nearly Fifty Years Ago Wrote Down Her Personal Interviews With The Last Of The Calhoun Slaves At Fort Hill, Which Are Here Used For The First Time Help Has Also Come From Other Members Of The Calhoun Family, Includ Ing Anecdotes And Reminiscences From The Last Grandson, The Late Patrick Calhoun Of Pasadena, California From Miss Lilian Gold, Flint, Michigan Mr John C Calhoun, Columbia, South Carolina And Mr Louis Symonds, Mr And Mrs John C, Calhoun Symonds, And Miss Eugenia Frost, All Of Charleston Mr Alexander S Salley, Junior, Head Of The South Carolina Historical Commission, Gave Me Invaluable Help In Unraveling The Early Legislative Proceedings Of South Carolina, Still In Manuscript Others Assisting Me In Columbia Were Professor Robert L Meriwether Of The University Of South Carolina Faculty, Miss Elizabeth Porcher Of The University Library, Colonel Fiu Hugh McMaster, Mr J Gordon McCabe, And Mr James T Gittman I Also Wish To Thank Miss Virginia Rugheimer Of The Library Of The College Of The City Of Charleston, Miss Ellen FitzSimons, Librarian Of The Charleston Library Society, And Miss Kitty Ravenel And Dr W W Ball, Also Of Charleston In Washington, I C M I Am Under Obligation To Mr St George L Calhoun s ideas describe what lead to the Civil War and resonate today in the shadows of the Trump administration. The best biography on Calhoun. Love this book First off, I listened this book with the narration by Charlton Griffin Part of the charm of this book was that the voice and diction of the narrator seemed perfectly matched with charm of Coit s language.Calhoun is one of the most important American politicians who never became President And I had been reading a lot about him in other biographies and histories and so I thought it would be good to tackle him directly.This book is definitely dated, a history published in the early 1950s when historical standards were different than today For example, she writes in much of a narrative approach, making it seem like the events she described happened as she tells him another reviewer described this as historical fiction which I think isn t fair So she isn t great at describing the limits of the historical information and data that she is accessing Another fault is that she is certainly a partisan for Calhoun, often explaining away and perhaps not defending his views but rationalizing them given the circumstances of the day I think a modern biography would be much harsher on Calhoun for his treatment of the slavery issue and his support of nullification.Having said all that, the book is really charming to read or to listen to in my case Her appreciation for Calhoun and her description of South Carolina make the book very interesting And her language has a poetry about it that contemporary histories tend to lack Calhoun is portrayed as a brilliant thinker who fought for a lost cause I think it would be good to pair this book with a contemporary account of Calhoun but I found this book to be very engaging. Definitely a biography for its times, the pre civil rights era This is definitely a book that has not aged well both in substance and in execution The book itself gives the impression of a Margaret Mitchell novel With its generous use of adjectives, similes and metaphors it comes across as a love letter to John C Calhoun Because the biography is written in a narrative style that often second guesses it s characters motives, it Is not a book for those looking for a solid historical record of John C Calhoun Biographer, Margaret Coit looks at Calhoun s life through the now defunct lens of the Southern Lost Cause However, the book is still worth a read listen to understand the view points and biases of the time Coit write the book and and what historical narrative is people used to defend misguided viewpoints today Similar to the way one would approach viewing DW Griffith s Birth of a Nation or Intolerance In his defense of slavery and arguing the repeal of trade tariffs, Calhoun was the Architect of States Rights and Nullification which has been picked up and used by the current right wing political movement Reading Calhoun would be a good way to understand this movement better by tracing its roots, however there are better books on Calhoun out there. While not as in depth and critical at times as I would have liked, for a one volume biography of such a complicated figure as John C Calhoun, I feel that Coit did a good job of hitting all of the high notes and helping the reader get a good feel for Calhoun In particular, her analysis of Calhoun s transition from being a nationalist to a secessionist was well done with Coit positing through her analysis that the development of his ideas was seamless than is sometimes described in works on Calhoun Overall, the reader is left with an understanding of Calhoun as a complicated intellectual who unfortunately utilized his abilities to further the cause of slavery and was indirectly culpable in the dissolution of the Union.