58 Following


Reading progress update: I've read 78 out of 433 pages.

Henry Cabot Lodge: A Biography - John A. Garraty

I am enjoying this biography immensely. It's a marked contrast from Morison's book, with clear prose offering sound observations well supported by Garraty's research. And his analysis of why the pro-reform Lodge supported James G. Blaine after Blaine won the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1884 despite his unsavory past is one that I found especially relevant to our current political situation:

Thus Henry Cabot Lodge stood on the bring of his personal Rubicon. To his mind Blaine represented all that was evil in politics. Not only was his personal morality suspect but he was also an unspoken foe of reform. . . But these considerations only made his choice uncomfortablehe had made up his mind in advance, and now he had to face the inevitable. "Blaine is obnoxious to our people," he admitted to a reporter while the convention was breaking up, "but I shall give him my support."

I imagine there was more than a few Republicans in 2016 who like Lodge put the party (and their careers) ahead of what they thought was right. Lodge, of course, was spared the larger consequences of his support thanks to Grover Cleveland's victory, so in that sense he was more fortunate than his successors and the political death-spiral they find themselves in today.