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Zachary Taylor: The American Presidents Series: The 12th President, 1849-1850

Zachary Taylor: The American Presidents Series: The 12th President, 1849-1850

(Book #12 in the American Presidents series)


Book Overview: Zachary Taylor: The American Presidents Series: The 12th President, 1849-1850

The rough-hewn general who rose to the nation's highest office, and whose presidency witnessed the first political skirmishes that would lead to the Civil War

Zachary Taylor was a soldier's soldier, a man who lived up to his nickname, "Old Rough and Ready." Having risen through the ranks of the U.S. Army, he achieved his greatest success in the Mexican War, propelling him to the nation's highest office in the election of 1848. He was the first man to have been elected president without having held a lower political office.

John S. D. Eisenhower, the son of another soldier-president, shows how Taylor rose to the presidency, where he confronted the most contentious political issue of his age: slavery. The political storm reached a crescendo in 1849, when California, newly populated after the Gold Rush, applied for statehood with an anti- slavery constitution, an event that upset the delicate balance of slave and free states and pushed both sides to the brink. As the acrimonious debate intensified, Taylor stood his ground in favor of California's admission--despite being a slaveholder himself--but in July 1850 he unexpectedly took ill, and within a week he was dead. His truncated presidency had exposed the fateful rift that would soon tear the country apart.

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John S. D. Eisenhower was an American author, historian, and military officer. Born in 1922, he was best known for his detailed military histories, especially his works on the U.S. Civil War and World War II. As a military officer, he served during World War II and the Korean War, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Reserve. Beyond his military duties, Eisenhower was a historian with a keen interest in America's past. His book "So Far from God: The U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848" is highly regarded within the historical community and remains a seminal text on the subject. He also authored the acclaimed study of the Battle of the Bulge, "The Bitter Woods". His historical expertise led to his appointment as U.S Ambassador to Belgium under President Nixon. Eisenhower's legacy is multifaceted; he was not just an accomplished military officer, but a respected historical scholar. His contributions to American literature and history have enriched our understanding of critical periods in the country's past, making him a seminal figure in the field. His life and work encapsulate a dedication to both public service and academic rigor, cementing his status as a notable American author.

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