President James Buchanan and the Crisis of National Leadership

Thomas A. Horrocks
Cambridge, MA

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents
BISAC: HIS036000



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Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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Although none of his contemporaries considered Buchanan a political genius or a brilliant statesman, many thought in 1856 that he was the right man for the times. Few have assumed the office of the presidency with such a sterling résumé as Buchanan. With many years of experience, including stints as a member of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, Minister to Russia, Secretary of State, and Minister to Great Britain, he seemed well equipped to deal with the brewing sectional crisis he faced as president.

Buchanan entered office during a time that required strong and decisive presidential leadership. Yet, despite his years of political experience, James Buchanan failed to provide that leadership. This book examines the life and presidency of James Buchanan and seeks to explain why such an experienced politician failed the test of leadership in a time of national crisis. (Imprint: Nova)

(Barbara Bennett Peterson)


Chapter 1. From a Log Cabin to a Russian Court

Chapter 2. Diplomacy and Politics

Chapter 3. Into the Storm

Chapter 4. Panic, Rebellion, and Political Suicide

Chapter 5. Aggressive Expansionist

Chapter 6. The Road to Secession

Chapter 7. The Secession Winter

Chapter 8. The Sage of Wheatland

Conclusion: James Buchanan and the Crisis of National Leadership



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