Book News A richly detailed biography of the president whose Monroe Doctrine continues to guide American policy to the present day. Cunningham (history, U. of Missouri) uses primary sources to portray Monroe, the last Revolutionary War hero to become president, as a cautious man whose policies helped to avoid disasters during the crises of his presidential term, including revolutions in Latin America, the Spanish possession of Florida, the 1819 depression, and Missouri's slavery controversies. The biography also highlights the inner workings of Monroe's cabinet, his relations with Congress, and the influences that future presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson exerted on Monroe's administration. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer Noble Cunningham's history of the fifth presidency (1817-1825) shows a young nation beset by growing pains and led by a cautious politician who had neither the learning nor the intellect of Jefferson or Madison but whose actions strengthened both the United States and the presidency itself. Cunningham makes clear that the mislabeled "era of good feelings" had more than its share of crises, including those resulting from revolutions in Latin America, Spanish possession of Florida, the depression of 1819, and the controversy over slavery in Missouri. Monroe, he shows, successfully defused these potentially explosive situations, most notably by negotiating the 1820 Missouri Compromise and announcing in 1823 what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, a document that still guides American policy in the Western hemisphere. Cunningham effectively places these actions within the context of Monroe's life and times and sheds new light on the inner workings of his cabinet and his relations with Congress. In addition, he features the prominent roles of two future presidents: John Quincy Adams as secretary of state and Andrew Jackson as the controversial general whose actions in the Seminole War created a headache for the administration.