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Amity Shlaes on Silent Cal

Tags U.S. History

04/27/2018Amity ShlaesJeff Deist

Sandwiched between progressive avatars Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR, Calvin Coolidge gets little acclaim. But Coolidge historian and biographer Amity Shlaes makes the case for libertarians to view "Silent Cal" favorably, as someone who deeply and instinctively distrusted grandiose government. With the Great War over, Coolidge called for "normalcy" — meaning peace — staying out of the League of Nations, and a humble America First foreign policy. The Fed was in its infancy, but Coolidge instructed Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to pursue a monetary policy that yielded deflation, arguing that "inflation is repudiation." And when he left office in 1929 the US federal budget was nominally smaller than when he first became president, a great feat in any era.

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes is available now.

See also The Forgotten Man and The Forgotten Man Graphic Novel.

Amity Shlaes on Silent Cal

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