American Liberal Arts Blog

Teaching the Liberal Arts in the American Context
Thursday June 16- "Silenced Cal- Why President Coolidge is the Best President You Never Heard Of" -Amity Shlaes
Print
By James Dudley, June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

The greatest challenge of the current day is to restore the budget discipline and check on government necessary assure U.S. preeminence in the next century. But Americans are at a loss for model of a leader for this endeavor. Ronald Reagan does not quite fit the bill. But there is a model: that of President Coolidge, the thirtieth chief executive, who occupied the White House from the death of President Harding in summer 1923 to 1929. Coolidge is usually derided as "silent cal," a do nothing minor president who kept the White House warm between Roosevelts. But his achievement was stupendous in his simplicity: when he left office the federal budget was lower than he came in. This even as the U.S. economy averaged four percent growth.

In this lecture Amity Shlaes delves into material from her forthcoming biography to talk about Coolidge's brand of economic leadership. Next she looks at the reasons why this important president has been obscured, and what from his material might be of use today

Tags: No subjects

2 Comments
Lee Trepanier on Jun 17, 2011 at 5:27 am

It's unfortunate that Coolidge has such a poor reputation among American historians. Hopefully this will be the beginning of his rehabilitation in the academy.

Anne on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:49 am

Thank you James

about the author

James Dudley
James Dudley

I finished my BA in History and Political Science at Villanova University in 2008.  I am a recent Navy veteran, and am currently on the staff of ISI.