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Download Rutherford B. Hayes Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Rutherford B. Hayes (Unabridged), by Hans L. Trefousse
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (67 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hans L. Trefousse Narrator: Ira Claffe Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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If Rutherford B. Hayes's significance as chief executive had faded in the public memory, nothing brought it back into our consciousness more than the similarities between the controversial elections of 1876 and 2000. In 1876, Hayes's opponent, Samuel Tilden, won the popular vote and led the Electoral College, but the returns in several states were in dispute. A special electoral commission convened and handed the presidency to Hayes. Newspapers of the time cried of the iniquity in Florida. Yet this cry of foul was only one of several obstacles facing the new president.

After years of Grant-era corruption, the Republican Party looked to the earnest and upright Hayes to revitalize their flagging and scandalized party. As the volume of protest over election results increased, the Southern Democrats threatened to oust Hayes, and so he was forced to conciliate. To the dismay of the more conservative Republicans, he struck a deal to end military occupation of the South, thus ending the Reconstruction. In retrospect, as historian Hans L. Trefousse points out, it was this decision that helped unify the country and which restored legitimacy to the Oval Office.

As chief executive, Hayes's accomplishments were mixed. His conservative financial policies helped lift the country's economic depression, and he was able to reform the civil service and quell the 1877 labor uprising. But many of his well-intentioned goals, such as a bill that would help fund education for black children, were never realized, and many contemporary historians fault him for his lack of action on these fronts.

Rather than pursue a second term, Hayes decided to retire, maintaining his reputation for temperance, authority, and stability. Ultimately, it was Hayes's ability to compromise in order to help revitalize a floundering and factionalized nation that serves as his real legacy.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jay Adams-feuer | 10/14/2013

    " An interesting book about the succesor to rant who lost the popular vote by 300,00 and won the electoral college 1865-184. As a condition of a congressional committee set up to settle the disputed election was that he remove federal troops from the South. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Korry Thorpe | 6/5/2013

    " He was an interesting man. The parallels between his disputed election and that of Bush in 2000 are very interesting. I thought the author did a good job or telling the story fairly and without bias. It was well written. Definitly worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gene | 3/17/2013

    " Very well researched and written. Hans Trefousse is an outstanding historian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ryan Henry | 2/13/2011

    " another one of the pretty amazing americans of the civil war era... "

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About the Author

Hans L. Trefousse (1921–2010) was distinguished professor of history at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the respected author of several books on political figures during Reconstruction, including The Radical Republicans and Andrew Johnson.