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Salmon P Chase
03-26-2018, 07:40 AM
Post: #1
Salmon P Chase
written by John Niven in 1995. About 450 pages of text with good notes and good bibliography. The print size is easy to read.

John Niven has also edited a 5 book series, with each book over 400 pages, on the Salmon P Chase Papers, letters, documents. In addition Chase wrote extensive diaries. With all this information, Niven is able to give you a better understanding of who Chase is, and a look into his private life and thoughts.

I put off for almost three years reading this after I purchased it as I wanted a good bio on Chase, but I didn't expect it to be very interesting at 450 pages. I found this to be much better than I expected. Even the parts of his life I wasn't that interested in, the author uses letters and diary entries from Chase and his contemporaries to add a personal touch to what Chase is feeling and experiencing. A bit overly detailed in sections, but with these personal touches the author is able to give you a look at the personal life of Chase, a side of him most books overlook.

From the book cover..."Niven shows how the plight of the slaves stirred this reticent young lawyer and how Chase gradually moved to the forefront of the antislavery movement. At the same time, we see how Chase used his growing prominence in the antislavery movement to foreword his political ambitions. He illuminates Chase's long tenure as a public figure...

We also follow his many political maneuvers, his attempts to undercut rivals, and his poorly run campaigns for presidential nominations. Niven also provides an intimate portrait of Chase's family life - his loss of three wives and four of his six children, and the unfortunate marriage of his beautiful daughter Kate to a rich but dissolute man - and a vivid picture of life at mid-century.

What emerges is portrait of a tragic figure, whose high qualities of heart and mind and whose many achievements were ultimately tarnished by an often unseemly quest for power..."

I was able to get a bargain on the cost for this book, so if interested be patient, prices fluctuate. I enjoyed it, but it is a long book. It flows pretty well, is interesting, but it is not light reading. I did just now notice something weird on the Amazon site for this book. The prices for a hardback copy - new or used - are different depending on how you search for it. For the best price, pick the fist link (it is also the only one with book reviews) and scroll down to "More Buying Choices".

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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