by E.I. McCormac


(Volume One of Two)

ISBN 978-0-945707-09-7     $32.50

348 pages including illustrations and maps. 

   Professor McCormac's definitive biography of James K. Polk, the nation's eleventh president, was originally published in 1922 by the University of California Press.  American Political Biography Press has brought Professor McCormac's work back to print because it is one of only two biographies of Polk that uses modern biographical methods and standards to tell Polk's story.  And of the two, only McCormac's takes Polk's life through to its' conclusion.  Charles Seller's excellent biography of Polk leaves him during his term as president.
   Reviewing JAMES K. POLK: A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY, J.S. Reeves wrote in the American Historical Review for January, 1923, 
"This is a careful, exhaustive, and scholarly undertaking of enduring value...  Polk's character and personality are set forth from various angles... and the general political narrative only rarely (as in the case of the Scott-Trist imbroglio) strays far from Polk himself.  The author's claim in the preface, to have shown Polk, 'to have been a constructive statesman - - a statesman possessed of vision, sound judgment, and unusual executive ability', is on the whole justified.  One may perhaps murmur a wonder as to how it came about that Polk's contemporaries erred so greatly in judgment.  Was it blind partizanship, rational disagreement, or personal dislike which molded the opinion of Webster, Lincoln, Benton, and Calhoun?  Whatever the answer to this question may be, it is certain that Polk first and foremost lacked charm and magnetism.  With lack of charm in personality went lack of distinction in utterance.  Polk was unimaginative even though he had vision, and while now and then he uttered something which he recorded as 'jocose', no one has accorded to him a sense of humor.  Again, with him partizanship was almost akin to a religion. (continued on next page).

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