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Download The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century (Unabridged), by Scott Miller
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (750 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Scott Miller Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1901, as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial expansion, an assassin's bullet shattered the nation's confidence. The shocking murder of President William McKinley threw into stark relief the emerging new world order of what would come to be known as the American Century. The President and the Assassin is the story of the momentous years leading up to that event, and of the very different paths that brought together two of the most compelling figures of the era: President William McKinley and Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist who murdered him. The two men seemed to live in eerily parallel Americas. McKinley was to his contemporaries an enigma, a president whose conflicted feelings about imperialism reflected the country's own. Under its popular Republican commander-in-chief, the United States was undergoing an uneasy transition from a simple agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse spreading its influence overseas by force of arms. Czolgosz was on the losing end of the economic changes taking place---a first-generation Polish immigrant and factory worker sickened by a government that seemed focused solely on making the rich richer. With a deft narrative hand, journalist Scott Miller chronicles how these two men, each pursuing what he considered the right and honorable path, collided in violence at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Along the way, listeners meet a veritable who's who of turn-of-the-century America: John Hay, McKinley's visionary secretary of state, whose diplomatic efforts paved the way for a half century of Western exploitation of China; Emma Goldman, the radical anarchist whose incendiary rhetoric inspired Czolgosz to dare the unthinkable; and Theodore Roosevelt, the vainglorious vice president whose 1898 charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba is but one of many thrilling military adventures recounted here.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ashley | 2/13/2014

    " Excellent book about a time period that gets short shrift. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kate | 2/4/2014

    " Enjoyable history of the McKinley assassination from a broader perspective, with information about McKinley's push for empire, wars/territory wrangling in the Philippines and Guam as pawns for the real prize, Cuba, as well as background on anarchism and a bit of Leon Czolgosz's life and the anarchist espousal of terrorism (well, some anarchists' espousal, anyway). Slightly bothersome were the occasional offhand conservate assumptions (the author apparently writes for the WSJ, maybe he didn't notice? and would I have noticed if they were liberalisms?) and it took a while for me to figure out why we had such a digression into imperialism and things like the Haymarket Massacre (very fairly covered) and the imperialist desire for New Markets (Asia! They Need Our Stuff!) - but it's nice to have a solid background for why anarchists and anti-imperialists were so upset with McKinley. Obviously my only previous read on the subject, 1901's Memorial Life of William McKinley Our Martyred President left that out! Warning for TR lovers - Theodore Roosevelt comes across as a complete idiot and warmongering jerk, reminding me of numerous high school arguments about him. I guess we were more academically inclined than I thought! Four stars for the fascinating description of McKinley's Front Porch election campaign and the unscrupulous tactics that won him the election (business owners telling workers that their business would fire everyone if William Jennings Bryan won is strangely reminiscent of businesses insisting that the new health care law will totally bankrupt them so people should vote for those who would repeal it). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jessica P | 2/3/2014

    " A solid, enjoyable read. I don't think I really picked up on that author's main point, but the discussion of late 19th century expansionism and the development of anarchism in the last few decades of the 19th century helped to put the book into perspective. I'd read more by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amy | 1/25/2014

    " I found this very interesting. A fast read. "

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