As a longtime leader of the Democratic Party and
key member of Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet, Josephus Daniels was one of the most
influential progressive politicians in the country, and as secretary of the
navy during the First World War, he became one of the most important men in the
world. Before that, Daniels revolutionized the newspaper industry in the South,
forever changing the relationship between politics and the news media. Lee Craig,
an expert on economic history, delves into Daniels’ extensive archive to inform
this nuanced and eminently readable biography, following Daniels’ rise to power
in North Carolina and chronicling his influence on twentieth-century politics.
man of great contradictions, Daniels—an ardent prohibitionist, free trader, and
free silverite—made a fortune in private industry yet served as a persistent
critic of unregulated capitalism. He championed progressive causes like the graded
public school movement and antitrust laws even as he led North Carolina’s white
supremacy movement. Craig pulls no punches in his definitive biography of this
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