Henry Clay: America’s Greatest Statesman

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Henry Clay was a man of unlimited promise who preached compromise. He was born in Virginia, but made his living in Kentucky. He was a distinguished attorney who represented Aaron Burr after he infamously dueled Alexander Hamilton. Clay was a man of contradictions, he was anti-slavery yet owned slaves who worked his plantation. He yearned for his family who had abandoned him in his youth, but ran around on his doting wife, Lucretia. He had many children, yet he would outlive most. Clay served a public life of distinction as one of the youngest Speakers of the House in US History and later was a Senator. He would author the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and another Compromise in 1850 saving a fragile union over slavery, come through again as a secession threat from South Carolina almost exploded. At the same time, he would be accused of getting the US into war in 1812 and striking a corrupt bargain with John Quincy Adams in 1824 to gain a powerful position in government. Mr. Clay’s life was colorful, rarely quiet, but he truly cared about his home country.

Harlow Giles Unger’s biography is a very well researched book. He casts a fair light on the statesman, showing his highs and lows. There is no partiality on the subject, the author questions some of Clays decisions, but does show sympathy to him on some issues, but never detracts from a balanced biography. The author’s work is sublime.

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Author Harlow Giles Unger
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2015-Sep-29
ISBN 9780306823916
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2015
Category History


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