Coolidge: An American Enigma, by the late Robert Sobel, published by Regnery, is a very well written look at the life of the Vermont-born Massachusetts lawyer and politician who became our 30th president. I found the stuff about “Silent Cal’s’’ early life particularly engaging. Sobel calls Coolidge our last “Jeffersonian’’ (limited government) president.
A man of integrity and reserve, Coolidge rather incongruously presided over “The Roaring Twenties’’. The well educated and smart Coolidge was, of course, a far more complicated character than many people thought when he was president. He was also a good writer, and sometimes showed flashes of sentiment/emotion in speeches and letters that he usually kept hidden from the public. And he wrote almost all of his own speeches – the last president to do so.
Coolidge would have agreed with this quote from James Madison:
“The infirmities most besetting popular governments…are found in defective laws, which do mischief before they can be mended, and laws passed under transient impulses, of which time and reflection call for a change.’’