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Presidential Ambition: Gaining Power At Any Cost

By Richard Shenkman

In this well timed, illuminating, and sometimes surprising e-book, Richard Shenkman unearths that it's not simply contemporary presidents yet all presidents who've been ambitious--and now and then frighteningly so, prepared to sacrifice their wellbeing and fitness, relations, loyalty, and values. Presidential Ambition is a e-book that may completely modify the best way we predict approximately prior, current, and destiny American presidents.

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Within the Johnson management, investigators had exposed a plot to promote presidential pardons to ex-Confederates. Johnson himself was once cleared of wrongdoing, however it was once found that the individual in the back of the scheme used to be his son’s female friend, who offered the pardons for 100 money apiece (fifty money down, fifty cash on receipt of the pardon). 2 yet all that used to be as not anything in comparison to what was once to come back throughout the furnish years. The battle had unleashed the latent fiscal energy of yank capitalism, resulting in the advance of colossal new companies (such because the transcontinental railroad) and inspiring a brand new state of mind. whereas american citizens had consistently been tempted by means of cash and had certainly worshipped the almighty greenback, by no means prior to had there been the possibilities for creating wealth that there have been now. earlier than, executive have been too small for plenty of humans to earn large sums off it, legally or illegally. So had company. The few within the kingdom who had earned great fortunes had earned them, almost always, as Washington had, via land hypothesis. only a relative handful have been in a position to improve themselves via enterprise wizardry, throughout the manipulation of cash and items. yet now, unexpectedly, there appeared actually hundreds of thousands of how to make fortunes and hundreds of thousands who have been making them—and quick. As information of those huge new fortunes unfold, many usual americans all started dreaming that they, too, may possibly in attaining nice wealth. now not may younger males be happy with secure, sturdy jobs. Tens of hundreds of thousands could now starvation after riches. James Garfield, a standard schoolteacher in Ohio on the time, might gamble two times along with his well-merited rate reductions on investments in get-rich-quick schemes. the angle looked to be, If Jay Gould can make himself wealthy, why now not me? The very bigness of items appeared to invite such considering. while organizations have been small, earnings have been small and uninspiring. Now that corporations have been tremendous, gains have been huge, immense and attractive. It was once as though, as Vernon Louis Parrington positioned it, all the USA had turn into a “Great barbeque” at which every body desired to ceremonial dinner. It used to be not only the company forms who desired to profit, but additionally the politicians and the bureaucrats. The extra they heard in regards to the giant cash being made in deepest company, the extra they desired to make significant funds. As a primary step, individuals of Congress observed to it that their very own salaries have been elevated. In Monroe’s day a congressman was once paid $6 an afternoon; by means of Pierce’s, $8. In 1855, less than Buchanan, individuals had started receiving an annual wage, $3,000, a considerable elevate over what they'd earned prior to, yet all in all nonetheless a modest quantity. Then the warfare had come. In 1865 they elevated their salaries to $5,000. after which, in 1873, in what got here to be referred to as the “Salary Grab,” they elevated it back, to $7,500, with the rise retroactive to 1871. The salaries of alternative officers have been additionally dramatically elevated at present. From Washington to Johnson presidents had earned $25,000 each year. Grant’s wage as president was once doubled to $50,000.

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