Cover of: The President and the assassin | Scott Miller

The President and the assassin

McKinley, terror, and empire at the dawn of the American century

1st ed.

Published by Random House in New York .
Written in English.

About the Book

The era leading up to the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 was defined by enormous expansion in American industry and muscle-flexing abroad as well as the potent rise of labor unrest and revolutionary ideas such as anarchy. The growth of railroads, steel output, consumer goods, patents and sheer American ingenuity enriched the captains of industry, while the laborers, assembly-line workers, coal miners and armies of poor immigrants performed mind-numbing tasks for quarters and dimes per day.

«Wall Street Journal» correspondent Miller harnesses several narratives successively. He moves between the coffer-rich Republican election of the self-made man and Civil War hero McKinley against the populist William Jennings Bryan, to the meeting between the painfully shy working-class loner in Cleveland, Leon Czolgosz, and the charismatic anarchist speaker Emma Goldman. Fired up by Goldman’s words on social revolution and liberty—which in turn had emerged from a movement that Miller neatly traces from the work of Edmund Burke, William Godwin and the Transcendentalists—Czolgosz steeled himself for the “propaganda of the deed”—e.g., the kind of deadly terrorism that was rocking European capitals in the 1890s.

Meanwhile, McKinley was faced with international crises that he would manipulate effectively for American imperialist gain, such as the annexation of Hawaii, defeat of Spain for the protectorate of Cuba and the Philippines, takeover of Guam and Puerto Rico and an attempted Open Door policy toward China (thwarted by the Boxer Rebellion).

This is a wildly complex and significant period in American history, and Miller does a solid job of attending to the many boiling pots on the stove. Kirkus Reviews

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. [385]-403) and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
E711 .M45 2011

The Physical Object

viii, 422 p. :
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
1400067529, 0679604987
9781400067527, 9780679604983
LC Control Number
No ebook available

Check nearby libraries

Buy this book


Download catalog record: RDF / JSON / OPDS
July 16, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
February 26, 2015 Edited by ImportBot import new book
June 11, 2013 Edited by Michael Pemberton Added the cover of the book
June 11, 2013 Edited by Michael Pemberton Added new cover
July 29, 2011 Created by LC Bot Initial record created, from Library of Congress MARC record.