William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins
The American Presidents Series: The 9th President,1841

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The president who served the shortest term--just a single month--but whose victorious election campaign rewrote the rules for candidates seeking America's highest office

William Henry Harrison died just thirty-one days after taking the oath of office in 1841. Today he is a curiosity in American history, but as Gail Collins shows in this entertaining and revelatory biography, he and his career are worth a closer look. The son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Harrison was a celebrated general whose exploits at the Battle of Tippecanoe and in the War of 1812 propelled him into politics, and in time he became a leader of the new Whig Party, alongside Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. But it was his presidential campaign of 1840 that made an indelible mark on American political history.

Collins takes us back to that pivotal year, when Harrison's "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" campaign transformed the way candidates pursued the presidency. It was the first campaign that featured mass rallies, personal appearances by the candidate, and catchy campaign slogans like "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too." Harrison's victory marked the coming-of-age of a new political system, and its impact is still felt in American politics today. It may have been only a one-month administration, but we're still feeling the effects.


About Gail Collins

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Gail Collins was the Editorial Page Editor for the New York Times from 2001-2007--the first woman to have held that position. She currently writes a column for the Time's Op-Ed page twice weekly.
Published January 17, 2012 by Times Books. 176 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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He was the first Whig candidate for president in 1836 and lost, but won in the famously lowbrow “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too” 1840 campaign, which began the American tradition (unique among democracies) of candidates boasting that they are no smarter than the electorate and that this ordinariness m...

Jan 17 2012 | Read Full Review of William Henry Harrison: The A...

The Washington Times

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Public figures have little control over how they are remembered. Herbert Hoover did not expect to be forever linked to the Great Depression. Richard Nixon never expected to be known as the only president to resign his office.

Feb 14 2012 | Read Full Review of William Henry Harrison: The A...


At some point, every schoolchild learns that William Henry Harrison was America's briefest president, his death from pneumonia in 1841 coming just a month after a record two-hour inaugural address on a wintry day.

Jan 21 2012 | Read Full Review of William Henry Harrison: The A...

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