James A. Garfield: Leading America from Frontier to Empire

Barbara Bennett Peterson, PhD
University of Hawaii, Hawaii, US

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents
BISAC: HIS037060

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The Age of President Garfield was an exciting age as it featured the music of John Philip Sousa’s marching bands, the new dime novels, captains of industry such as John D. Rockefeller, legendary cowboys of the Old West, the Indian Wars, and the expansion of America’s interest in empire building abroad. James A. Garfield rose from birth in a log cabin in Ohio, to work as a canal boy, earned an education at Ceauga Academy, Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, and graduated from Williams College in 1856. He became president of Western Reserve in 1857, studied law, married Lucretia Randolph, and was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1859.

During the Civil War, he became a hero, earned the rank of Major General and assisted General William S. Rosecrans as his Chief of Staff. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1862, he was a Radical Republican seeking to redeem the South and protect the freedmen. Selected for the U.S. Senate in 1880, then nominated for the U.S. Presidency in Chicago also in 1880, he won the election and became the 20th U.S. President with Chester A. Arthur as his Vice President. This book is a rich tapestry filled with characters, events, institutions, and causes dominating the era. Roscoe Conkling, James G. Blaine, Andrew Carnegie, King Kalakaua of Hawaii, Queen Victoria, and Gilbert and Sullivan are a few of the parallel characters, and the creation of the United States Geological Survey, expansion of the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, and the American chapter of the Red Cross are some of the enduring legacies.

Garfield’s era saw the invention of the Bessemer steel process and the Otis elevator, the coming of the street trolley and gas lighting, immigrants pouring into Industrializing America and the formation of workers’ unions. Garfield’s presidency was at the height of the Gilded Age, one of the most fascinating moments in all of American history. This book must be read to understand how America moved from frontier to empire. A sophisticated and nuanced treatment of President James A. Garfield. (Imprint: Nova)


Prestigious Honor:

Barbara Bennett Peterson’s book, James A. Garfield: Leading America from Frontier to Empire, has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for 2016 in American History.

Foreword

Preface

Chapter 1 - Early Life in Ohio (pp. 1-16)

Chapter 2 - Rising through the Ranks during the Civil War (pp. 17-52)

Chapter 3 - From Grant to Hayes Garfield‘s Continued Rise to Prominence (pp. 53-90)

Chapter 4 - Revolution of Ideas Darwinism to Progressivism (pp. 91-118)

Chapter 5 - James A. Garfield As President (pp. 119-154)

Chapter 6 - Garfield Assassinated (pp. 155-174)

Chapter 7 - Garfield‘s Policies Live on with President Chester A. Arthur (pp. 175-216)

Pictures of James A. Garfield, His Family, and Contemporaries

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Bibliography

Index

click here to read the review - by Thomas J. Rowland, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

James A. Garfield Leading America from Frontier to Empire was written for university and college students as well as the reading general public. It is part of the book series titled First Men, America’s Presidents. The book should be of wide interest to Ohio historical societies, parks, organizations, schools at all levels, and libraries across the nation. It should be sold at Lawnfield, a National Historic site in Mentor, Ohio that once was the Garfield family home. The book should be of interest to university faculty who teach courses on the U.S. Presidency and courses in Gilded Age American history. It should also interest teachers of the survey courses on American history at all levels—K-12 through graduate school.

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