Review of “Benjamin Harrison” by Charles Calhoun

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Benjamin Harrison” is Charles Calhoun‘s 2005 biography of the 23rd president. Calhoun is a professor at East Carolina University and the author of several books focused on the late nineteenth century. He is reportedly working on a biography of Ulysses S. Grant.

As the ninth member of The American Presidents Series I’ve read, “Benjamin Harrison” held few surprises. These biographies are generally well-edited and efficient with a reader’s time, and this was no exception. Lacking the breadth of more complete biographies, I tend to rely on this series for the obscure, forgotten or maligned presidents where short-and-sweet may be ideal.

Of all the presidents Calhoun could have been tasked with covering, Benjamin Harrison would seem to have been among the least enticing. But it is a task to which Calhoun is well-suited given his professional focus on Harrison’s era. And to his credit he produced a straightforward and extremely…

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