Synopses & Reviews
Warren Harding fell in love with his beautiful neighbor, Carrie Phillips, in the summer of 1905, almost a decade before he was elected a United States Senator and fifteen years before he became the 29th President of the United States. When the two lovers started their long-term and torrid affair, neither of them could have foreseen that their relationship would play out against one of the greatest wars in world history--the First World War. Harding would become a Senator with the power to vote for war; Mrs. Phillips and her daughter would become German agents, spying on a U. S. training camp on Long Island in the hopes of gauging for the Germans the pace of mobilization of the U. S. Army for entry into the battlefields in France. Based on over 800 pages of correspondence discovered in the 1960s but under seal ever since in the Library of Congress, The Harding Affair will tell the unknown stories of Harding as a powerful Senator and his personal and political life, including his complicated romance with Mrs. Phillips. The book will also explore the reasons for the entry of the United States into the European conflict and explain why so many Americans at the time supported Germany, even after the U. S. became involved in the spring of 1917. James David Robenalt's comprehensive study of the letters is set in a narrative that weaves in a real-life spy story with the story of Harding's not accidental rise to the presidency.
"Intimate, revealing -- and sometimes downright embarrassing -- the newly revealed love letters at the heart of The Harding Affair
provide an altogether fresh look at a future American President hopelessly in love with a woman not his wife."--Geoffrey C. Ward, author of A First-Class Temperament
and The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945
“A crackling history by Greater Cleveland lawyer James David Robenalt gives Ohioans a peek, five years early, at court-sealed love letters that Warren G. Harding, the last Ohioan elected president, sent to his long-time mistress, Marion neighbor Carrie Phillips. Considering that they deal with a presidency that ended 86 years ago, that's saying a lot… Hard to put down.”-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Warren Harding has always been ranked as one of the worst U.S. presidents. But [this] book might just boost his image. Readers will see a tender, human side of Harding and also learn about his opposition to President Woodrow Wilson's nation-building efforts abroad after World War I -- an issue that still resonates. If he had assumed the presidency in 1917 instead of 1921… [it may have] led to an outcome that would have drastically changed the course of the 20th century.” -The Columbus Dispatch
“[The book] offers a straightforward account of the month's events. This immersive microhistory offers macro conclusions about American politics. A richly sourced and meticulous—albeit Nixon-centric—case for why January 1973 matters." —Kirkus Reviews
“[Nixon] is always fascinating in Robenalt’s unvarnished portrait of a flawed leader grappling with momentous events and heading, ultimately, toward ruin.”—Kirkus Reviews
“As a reader you will quickly realize you are in the hands of not only a good storyteller, but of a very sophisticated explainer, who has a gifted knack for making the complex matters easily understandable, and the inexplicable, comprehensible.”—John W. Dean, from the Foreword
“A truly first-rate book… provides genuine illumination about all of the issues [Robenalt] discusses. There is no reader who can’t benefit from Robenalt’s research, presented in vivid and arresting (and always well-documented) prose." —Sanford Levinson, The History Book Club
"In January 1973, Jim Robenalt takes a snapshot in time of a whirlwind month during the Nixon era – zeroing in on five major stories that converged in January of 1973 to change the arc of American history. It’s classic Jim Robenalt: engaging, interesting while providing fresh insights and new stories from chapters of history you don’t know as well as you think you do." – Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent
“[The] book offers a keen reminder of the man's near-madness and (be it conceded) political genius.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
American politics changed forever in January 1973.
In the span of thirty-one days, the Watergate burglars went on trial, the Nixon administration negotiated an end to the Vietnam War, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Roe v. Wade, Lyndon Johnson died in Texas (and Harry Truman passed away just a month earlier), and Richard Nixon was sworn in for his second term. The events had unlikely links and each worked along with the others to create a time of immense transformation. Roe in particular pushed political opponents to the outer reaches of each party, making compromise something that has become more and more difficult in our system of checks and balances.
Using newly released Nixon tapes, author and historian James Robenalt provides readers a fly-on-the-Oval-Office-wall look at events both fascinating and terrifying that transpired in the White House during this monumental month. He also delves into the judge’s chambers and courtroom drama during the Watergate break-in trial, and the inner sanctum of the US Supreme Court as it hashed out its decision in Roe v. Wade. Though the events took place more than forty years ago, they’re key to understanding today’s political paralysis.
About the Author
James David Robenalt is a partner in Thomson Hine LLP, a law firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. He was born and raised not far from Hardings hometown in western Ohio, and comes from a family of leading Ohio Democrats.
John W. Dean is a former Nixon White House counsel and the author of nine other books, including Pure Goldwater, Worse than Watergate, Conservatives without Conscience, and Broken Government. He has written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, MSNBC, Salon, and many other publications. He also writes a biweekly column for FindLaw.com. He lives in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Foreword by J.W.Dean *
Prologue * ‘Twas a Search in Vain' * Espionage in Chattanooga: The Baroness * The American Protective League and Love Tricks of Women Spies * 'The Sweetest, Dearest Little Brother You Ever Saw' * Saturday, December 22, 1917, an Espionage Hearing Begins * Carrie * Baron Curt Loeffelholz von Colberg * 'It Flames Like the Fire and Consumes' * Christmas Eve, 1910 * A German Cavalry Officer Named Zollner * 'Constant' * The Code * 'I Got The Fever' * 'Fate Timed That Marvelous Coincidence' * 'Fragment Written Sunday', January 28, 1912, Manhattan Hotel Stationery * 'Id Rather Be a Licked Warrior and Survive, Than a Healthy Coward'