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Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln's Scandalous Secretary of War

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781612348148
Author(s): Paul Kahan
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2016
Publisher: Potomac Books
Dimensions: 158 x 236 x 33 (w x l x h)
Pages: 384

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From poverty to political power From abject poverty to undisputed political boss of Pennsylvania, Lincoln'ssecretary of war, senator, chair of the Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee, and a founder of the Republican Party, Simon Cameron(1799-1889) was one of the nineteenth century's most prominent politicalfigures. In his wake, however, he left a series of questionable politicaland business dealings and, at the age of eighty, even a sex scandal.Far more than a biography of Cameron, Amiable Scoundrel is also aportrait of an era that allowed-indeed, encouraged-a man such asCameron to seize political control. The political changes of the earlynineteenth century enabled him not only to improve his status butalso to exert real political authority. The changes caused by the CivilWar, in turn, allowed Cameron to consolidate his political authorityinto a successful, well-oiled political machine. A key figure in designingand implementing the Union's military strategy during the CivilWar's crucial first year, Cameron played an essential role in pushingAbraham Lincoln to permit the enlistment of African Americans intothe U.S. Army, a stance that eventually led to his forced resignation.Yet his legacy has languished, nearly forgotten save for the fact that hisname has become shorthand for corruption, even though no evidencehas ever been presented to prove that Cameron was corrupt.
Amiable Scoundrel puts Cameron's act
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