By Richard Shenkman
In this well timed, illuminating, and infrequently surprising booklet, Richard Shenkman finds that it isn't simply fresh presidents yet all presidents who've been ambitious--and now and then frighteningly so, prepared to sacrifice their overall healthiness, kinfolk, loyalty, and values. Presidential Ambition is a ebook that would completely modify the best way we predict approximately earlier, current, and destiny American presidents.
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Additional resources for Presidential Ambition: Gaining Power At Any Cost
The extra they heard in regards to the great cash being made in inner most company, the extra they desired to make gigantic funds. As a primary step, participants of Congress observed to it that their very own salaries have been elevated. In Monroe’s day a congressman was once paid $6 an afternoon; via Pierce’s, $8. In 1855, below Buchanan, contributors had all started receiving an annual wage, $3,000, a considerable raise over what they'd earned ahead of, yet all in all nonetheless a modest volume. Then the battle had come. In 1865 they elevated their salaries to $5,000. after which, in 1873, in what got here to be known as the “Salary Grab,” they elevated it back, to $7,500, with the rise retroactive to 1871. The salaries of different officers have been additionally dramatically elevated at present. From Washington to Johnson presidents had earned $25,000 every year. Grant’s wage as president was once doubled to $50,000. The salaries of the vice chairman, participants of the cupboard, and justices of the ideal courtroom have been elevated to $10,000. The raises for everyone yet supply will be rolled again within the wake of public outrage. * yet for the made up our minds there have been alternative ways to benefit from America’s newfound wealth—illegal methods. three provide himself used to be now not very attracted to cash. He lived easily. The son of an outdated American relatives of modest capacity, he used to be thrifty via nature; as engaged on his father’s Ohio farm, he controlled to avoid wasting up 100 funds. yet he was once very bold. even if he bought a meager schooling at a neighborhood village academy, he used kin connections to win an appointment to West aspect. There, regardless of his loss of enough education, he succeeded in graduating in the midst of his type, excelling in arithmetic and horsemanship. He then went into the military and fought within the Mexican battle, the place he used to be brought up for bravery. Over the subsequent ten years he remained within the military, relocating from one western publish to a different, doing as he was once instructed, and finally turning into a captain. yet simply because there have been no wars to struggle, possibilities to maneuver forward within the military have been slender. pissed off, provide, thirty-one, determined to go away the military and to attempt to make his means as a civilian. It was once a poor selection. furnish used to be easily unsuited to civilian lifestyles. Over the following seven years failure marked his each flow. First he attempted farming—and failed. Then, he turned a true property agent—and failed at that. Then he turned a tax collector—and failed at that. eventually, broke and out of good fortune, he moved to Galena, Illinois, the place his father had opened a modest little shop. supply turned a clerk. It used to be acknowledged that he drank an excessive amount of. most likely he did. Then the Civil warfare came—and Grant’s fortunes replaced dramatically. even supposing he had hassle attracting realization at first—the warfare division didn't even hassle to respond to his letter soliciting for a commission—he fast rose throughout the ranks. Volunteering to serve with an Illinois regiment, he used to be made a colonel, then, inside of months, a brigadier normal. within the early months of the struggle he confirmed nice bravery, carrying on with to struggle fearlessly in a single conflict even after his horse was once shot out from below him.