My second book for June was Warren G. Harding: The American Presidents Series: The 29th President, 1921-1923 by John Dean. John Dean served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973!?! This is part of my long term project to read books about all of the presidents.
I had finished my other book on the flight to Seattle. I had bought a book about Warren Harding, but hadn't packed it in my carryon because it was so big and I was carrying Sharon's book. Looking around for something to read on Amazon, I downloaded this book. It was a mistake.
In historical rankings of the U.S. presidents, Harding is often rated among the worst. John Dean grew up in the same small town as Harding, Marion, Ohio. Dean spends the whole book trying to repair Harding's reputation and paint him in a positive light. Much like the DiMaggio biography, I am not sure what to believe.
Harding grew up as a newspaper publisher. Active in Ohio politics, he was eventually elected to the United States Senate. Harding was the first sitting member of the Senate to be elected president. He died in San Francisco on his way back from a trip to Alaska.
After his death, several scandals came to light. This included the Teapot Dome scandal as well as scandals in the Veteran's Bureau and the Justice Department. He had at least one long term extramarital affair and allegedly fathered a daughter with another mistress.
I don't recommend this book. I don't trust John Dean or his characterization of Warren Harding...
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