The Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes

Ari Hoogenboom

This new interpretation of the Hayes administration contradicts the widely held view that Hayes was an inept politician and an ineffective leader. Hoogenboom argues that it was Hayes's character and personality that set his presidency apart in the Gilded Age.

This volume covers all issues, decisions, and developments during the Hayes presidency—from the withdrawal of troops from Louisiana and South Carolina that signaled the end of Reconstruction, through the Great Strike of 1877—the most violent general strike in American history—and the Nez Perce War, to the struggle for civil service reform and the fight to preserve voting rights.

“Excellent. Summarizes complex topics succinctly and clearly.”

American Historical Review

“ Hoogenboom's well-written and judicious accunt of the achievements and vicissitudes of his term is an excellent addition to the historiography of late nineteenth-century U.S. political culture.

—The Historian
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Hoogenboom credits Hayes with being a patient reformer, principled but practical, cautious yet courageous. His honesty and decency echoed the pristine values of the early American Republic, while his attempts to rally support by emphasizing issues and policies—rather than by relying on political organization—anticipated the style of twentieth-century presidents.

About the Author

Ari Hoogenboom is professor of history at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

Additional Titles in the American Presidency Series Series