Magazine October 4, 2010, Issue

Bliss Was It . . .

From the cover of The High Tide of American Conservatism (Emerald)
The High Tide of American Conservatism: Davis, Coolidge, and the 1924 Election, by Garland S. Tucker III (Emerald, 336 pp., $29.95)

The 1924 presidential election was, on the face of it, a snoozer. The major-party candidates were Calvin Coolidge (Republican) and John W. Davis (Democrat). Both were conservative — sensationally so by today’s standards. As Garland Tucker notes in this enjoyable and informative book: “There were . . . very few philosophical differences between Davis and Coolidge.” Both men thought that federal power should intrude as little as possible into the life of the nation. Both favored minimal taxation, wanted the states left to conduct their own affairs where the Constitution did not forbid their doing so, saw America’s international role

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