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Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States > B0036S4BAS
  1. Henry Clay: The Essential American
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  2. Henry Clay: The Essential American

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Kindle Edition
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Random House
Random House
Random House
Random House
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) About once a year, my husband and I visit friends near Lexington, Kentucky, and we always see the signs for Henry Clay's plantation home, Ashland. Not knowing that much about Henry Clay, but having read many other books that make reference to The Great Compromiser, I decided to read Henry Clay: The Essential American by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. I discovered not just an extraordinary book, but also an extraordinary man! Unfortunately, many of his accomplishments have been dimmed by history. But Clay, known as the Western Star and Prince Hal, was one of the most influential men of the first half of the 19th Century.

Clay was born in 1777, and he and our young republic grew up together. As a teenager, he clerked for the Virginia Court of Chancery. Because of his good penmanship, he was selected to assist George Wythe, the brilliant legal mind who was a Virginia chancellor and first law professor in the nation. After studying law and passing the bar, Clay... Read more
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) This work presents Henry Clay in a fashion that almost allows the reader to feel the presence of "The Great Compromiser." It is a study of both the man and his works, flawed, brave, sometimes wrong, somethimes right, but always interesting. Clay was a great and influential figure in American history, and it would not be too much to say that Clay delayed the Civil War by twenty years through his presence. OK, maybe that's a little much, but nonetheless it was his continuing work to keep the union together and attempt to find a way to work out the sectional problems.

In Clay's times, the sectional problems were almost unbridgable, and significantly more difficult than the issues confronting our current politicians. Yet, we hear no voice like Clay's -- rather we have ideologes brooking no compromise as if it were treason. Clay always moved the nation forward to realize its growth potential, whereas today our heady days of growth are behind us and we are in a time of... Read more
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) David and Jeanne Heidler's sweeping biography of Henry Clay captures the energy and convictions of the indefatigable senator and the many crises of a young nation over the course of his nearly 50 years in American politics. Clay served about 14 years each in the House of Representatives and Senate, and he was Secretary of State for 4 years under President John Quincy Adams. Often called the Great Compromiser, the authors agree with Daniel Walker Howe's characterization of Clay as "an ideologue of the Center", who would rather not compromise. Even so, he would do anything to save the union and stave off civil war, and the Heidlers explain his role in the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850.

Clay's 5 failed attempts to become President are addressed in painful detail -painful because he came so close, and the prize always went to a lesser man. The US had a string of bad presidents when it could have had Henry Clay. One of them was Clay's... Read more
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