THE HARDING ERA: WARREN G. HARDING AND HIS ADMINISTRATION
by Robert K. Murray
ISBN 978-0-945707-27-1 $37.50
626 pages including notes, sources and index. Plus illustrations
The 1920's challenge the historian and the general reader
with the controversial and misunderstood figure of Warren G Harding, president
from 1921 until his death in 1923. Professor Murray re-examines and
re-evaluates Harding's nomination, election, and presidency in the light of
newly available materials, especially the Harding Papers. He demonstrates
that Harding was not a bumbling nonentity as heretofore pictured and that
his administration was surprisingly successful in solving its immediate problems.,
Inheriting domestic and international chaos, the administration engineered
an efficient transition from the postwar turmoil of the late Wilson years
to a time of prosperity under Coolidge. Significantly also, it established
the basic outlines of Republican party policy for the rest of the decade.
As Professor Murray makes clear, Harding was more than a bystander
in these accomplishments; he was a catalytic influence, succeeding where a
different personality might have failed.
Harding's failure, the author concludes, was not in the nature
of his administration but in himself and his friends. His own flaws,
coupled with the corrupt activity of such associates as Forbes, Miller, and
Fall, tipped the scales in the public's eyes against his administration's
achievements. In the process, many persistent myths were created.
Now, in this book, the myths are analyzed and, wherever necessary, dispelled.