Magazine December 18, 2017, Issue

Rise to Global Power

William McKinley delivers his inaugural address in Washington, D.C., March 1897. (Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters)
President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, by Robert W. Merry (Simon & Schuster, 624 pp., $35)

Robert Merry, a journalist and historian, has written books on the vagaries of presidential reputations (Where They Stand, 2012) and on American imperialism (Sands of Empire, 2005). In his new book, these themes coalesce. He wants to revive William McKinley’s middling reputation by recognizing the 25th president as the shrewd, unheralded father of the military-commercial expansionism that underwrote America’s global rise. The result is a well-crafted and illuminating study in turn-of-the-last-century U.S. politics.

McKinley was born in 1843 above a grocery store in Niles, Ohio. As a teenager, he declared himself eager to fight Jefferson Davis’s incipient treason on southern soil,

To Read the Full Story

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Rise to Global Power

Robert Merry sets out to revive William McKinley’s middling reputation by recognizing the 25th president as the shrewd, unheralded father of the military-commercial expansionism that underwrote America’s global ...

Sections

Letters

Letters

What Does NAFTA Do? Kevin D. Williamson’s fulsome praise of NAFTA (“What NAFTA Does,” November 13) notwithstanding, the primary goal of NAFTA is to provide American manufacturers with unfettered access to ...
The Week

The Week

‐ “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, women want me to feel them up while they’re sleeping on airplanes.” ‐ Roy Moore, Republican candidate in a special election ...
Poetry

Poetry

THE ‘F’ WORD My mother would withhold from me most news, Because my constant questions — like a plague Of locusts — flew at her, till she would lose Her patience, as I lost ...
Happy Warrior

The Bed Menace

‘Opinion: If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers,” ran a tweet from the New York Times the other day.

Recommended

The Latest