Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union

Robert Vincent Remini, Author W. W. Norton & Company $35 (818p) ISBN 978-0-393-03004-4
By the distinguished biographer of Andrew Jackson, this is the first major study of the ``great compromiser'' in half a century. Henry Clay's prolonged feud with Jackson and his failed quest for the White House are traced in detail, with Remini showing how the unfounded charge of political collusion when Clay was appointed secretary of State contributed significantly to that failure. The author explains Clay's role in the Missouri Compromise of 1820; and later, when the country faced the slavery question over territory acquired in the Mexican War, his role in shaping the Compromise of 1850. Thus tension between North and South was eased and civil war delayed for a decade. Remini points out that many historians have argued that had secession and war occurred in 1850 the South ``undoubtedly'' would have won its independence. This majestic work brings into sharp focus the private and public Henry Clay (1777-1852): gambler, drinker, duelist, as well as brilliant orator, a man with a ``gift for the outrageous,'' and savior of the Union. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 880 pages - 978-0-393-31088-7
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