By Scott Miller
A SWEEPING story OF TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY the US AND THE impossible to resist FORCES THAT introduced males jointly ONE FATEFUL DAY
In 1901, as the United States tallied its earnings from a interval of remarkable imperial enlargement, an assassin’s bullet shattered the nation’s self assurance. The stunning homicide of President William McKinley threw into stark aid the rising new international order of what could emerge as often called the yankee Century. The President and the Assassin is the tale of the momentous years major as much as that occasion, and of the very various paths that introduced jointly of the main compelling figures of the period: President William McKinley and Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist who murdered him.
The males appeared to stay in eerily parallel Americas. McKinley used to be to his contemporaries an enigma, a president whose conflicted emotions approximately imperialism mirrored the country’s personal. less than its well known Republican commander-in-chief, the us was once present process an uneasy transition from an easy agrarian society to an commercial powerhouse spreading its impact abroad through strength of fingers. Czolgosz used to be at the wasting finish of the industrial adjustments taking place—a first-generation Polish immigrant and manufacturing unit employee sickened via a central authority that appeared targeted completely on making the wealthy richer. With a deft narrative hand, journalist Scott Miller chronicles how those males, each one pursuing what he thought of the proper and honorable course, collided in violence on the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
Along the best way, readers meet a veritable who’s who of turn-of-the-century the US: John Hay, McKinley’s visionary secretary of country, whose diplomatic efforts cleared the path for a part century of Western exploitation of China; Emma Goldman, the unconventional anarchist whose incendiary rhetoric encouraged Czolgosz to dare the unthinkable; and Theodore Roosevelt, the vainglorious vp whose 1898 cost up San Juan Hill in Cuba is yet one of the exciting army adventures acknowledged right here.
Rich with relevance to our personal period, The President and the Assassin holds a reflect as much as a desirable interval of upheaval whilst the titans of grew fats, speculators sought fortune in another country, and determined souls became to terrorism in a useless try to thwart the juggernaut of switch.
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Extra resources for The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century
They had a dim and dark understanding of the fact that power cannot be wielded without guilt, since it is never transcendent over interest, even when it tries to subject itself to universal standards and places itself under the control of a nascent world-wide community. They did not understand that the disavowal of the responsibilities of power can involve an individual or nation in even more grievous guilt. There are two ways of denying our responsibilities to our fellowmen. The one is the way of imperialism, expressed in seeking to dominate them by our power.
The bourgeois world is accused of not taking the mastery of historical destiny seriously enough and of being content with the mastery of nature. " That is to say, man will no longer have any sense of the mystery and meaning of the drama of history beyond the limits of his will and understanding; but he will be filled with illusions about his own power and wisdom. For the bourgeois idea of a society in which the morally embarrassing factor of power has been pushed under the rug, cormnunism substitutes the idea of one final, resolute and unscrupulous thrust of power in the revolution.
This dismissal usually involves indifference toward the tension in human existence, created by the fact that "our reach is beyond our grasp," and that every sensitive individual has a relation to a structure of meaning which is never fulfilled in the vicissitudes of actual history. 6 THE IRONIC SITUATION The crowning irony in this debate about materialism lies in the tremendous preoccupation of our own technical culture with the problem of gaining physical security against the hazards of nature.