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The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country

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The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country Cover

ISBN13: 9780812973372
ISBN10: 0812973372
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this amazing and at times ribald story, Laton McCartney tells how Big Oil handpicked Warren G. Harding, an obscure Ohio senator, to serve as our twenty-third president. Harding and his “oil cabinet” made it possible for cronies to secure vast fuel reserves that had been set aside for use by the U.S. Navy. In exchange, the oilmen paid off senior government officials, bribed newspaper publishers, and covered the GOP campaign debt. When news of the scandal finally emerged, the consequences were disastrous. Drawing on contemporary records newly made available to McCartney, The Teapot Dome Scandal reveals a shocking, revelatory picture of just how far-reaching the affair was, how high the stakes, and how powerful the conspirators-all told in a dazzling narrative style.

Synopsis:

In this amazing and at times ribald story, Laton McCartney tells how Big Oil handpicked Warren G. Harding, an obscure Ohio senator, to serve as our twenty-third president. Harding and his oil cabinet made it possible for cronies to secure vast fuel reserves that had been set aside for use by the U.S. Navy. In exchange, the oilmen paid off senior government officials, bribed newspaper publishers, and covered the GOP campaign debt. When news of the scandal finally emerged, the consequences were disastrous. Drawing on contemporary records newly made available to McCartney, The Teapot Dome Scandal reveals a shocking, revelatory picture of just how far-reaching the affair was, how high the stakes, and how powerful the conspirators-all told in a dazzling narrative style.

About the Author

Laton McCartney is the author of the national bestseller Friends in High Places: The Bechtel Story-The Most Secret Corporation and How It Engineered the World and Across the Great Divide: Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail. McCartney has written extensively on business, finance, and politics for many national magazines. He and his wife, Nancy, divide their time between Wyoming and New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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OneMansView, July 5, 2009 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Don’t the well-connected and rich always control gov? (3.5*s)

This book details the successful efforts through payoffs of a few rich businessmen, notably oilmen, to control the 1920 Presidential election, resulting in the installation of Warren G. Harding, and the subsequent giveaway of leases to these oilmen of drilling rights to federal/Navy reserves of oil in Wyoming and California in exchange for payoffs to a cabinet official, the Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall. The first part of the book describes the actions taken by various individuals to orchestrate the nomination of Harding and then the scheming of Fall and the oilmen, namely Edward Doheny and Harry Sinclair, to give them access to these military oil reserves located on public lands. In addition, there were the actions of a so-called Ohio gang, headed by Attorney General Harry Daugherty and included Albert Fall, in laundering money illegally obtained from dealing in alcohol during Prohibition. Most of the book is consumed with the cover-up and then the unraveling of these various nefarious schemes, which took most of the 1920s.

It really was only the determination of Montana Sen. Thomas Walsh, who led an investigation by the Senate Committee on Public Lands, that finally revealed the entire miserable scenario. Strangely enough, only Fall ever served any time in prison for criminal conduct in regard to this matter; Sinclair served a few months for contempt and tampering with a jury.

Unfortunately, the book is so full of detail, irrelevant minutia, and inclusive of most all twists and turns, that it finally becomes very difficult to follow. And even at that, there is some vagueness: rumors swirled, so-and-so learned from unnamed sources, disconnects between events, and the like. The author does include some interesting descriptions of many of the individuals involved. There were some puzzling and unsolved deaths among some of the principals from gunshots.

There is a decided lack of historical perspective in this book. Where does this scandal sit in American history? Was it one of a kind? Wasn’t bribery widespread in the Gilded Age just a few decades before? Are there structural weaknesses in our political system that permit the undue influence of the rich? Because this book was written in 2008, the question of the parallels to this scandal with the control of big oil in the GW Bush inner circles begs to be asked and is not. Where do buying influence and bribery stop and start?

The facts of a scandal of this magnitude are undeniably important and are fairly well presented in this book. But more important is the framework in which to understand them. That is a shortcoming of this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812973372
Author:
Mccartney, Laton
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
McCartney, Laton
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/20s
Subject:
Government & Business
Subject:
Industries - Energy Industries
Subject:
Teapot Dome Scandal, 1921-1924.
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-PP B/W PHOTO SECTION
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8 x 5.15 x 0.8 in 0.65 lb

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Related Subjects

Business » Business Law
Business » General
Business » History and Biographies
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to 1945
History and Social Science » US History » 1920 to 1960
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812973372 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this amazing and at times ribald story, Laton McCartney tells how Big Oil handpicked Warren G. Harding, an obscure Ohio senator, to serve as our twenty-third president. Harding and his oil cabinet made it possible for cronies to secure vast fuel reserves that had been set aside for use by the U.S. Navy. In exchange, the oilmen paid off senior government officials, bribed newspaper publishers, and covered the GOP campaign debt. When news of the scandal finally emerged, the consequences were disastrous. Drawing on contemporary records newly made available to McCartney, The Teapot Dome Scandal reveals a shocking, revelatory picture of just how far-reaching the affair was, how high the stakes, and how powerful the conspirators-all told in a dazzling narrative style.
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