Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: Amiable Scoundrel

by Paul Kahan

When most people think of Simon Cameron, Abraham Lincoln’s first Secretary of War, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the label, “corrupt politician.”  Paul Kahan, lecturer at Ohlone College in Fremont, California, examines the life of the 26th United States Secretary of War in his biography, “Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln's Scandalous Secretary of War.”

“Amiable Scoundrel” chronicles Cameron’s rise from poverty to wealth and political power. Kahan sets the record of Cameron’s political life straight and documents though Cameron was not always the most honest of politicians he was not the corrupt politician of his historical reputation.

Kahan’s tome is well researched, well written and quotations from primary sources are liberally spread throughout his narrative. He has done an admirable job of resuscitating, clothing and restoring to Cameron his true and accurate historical legacy.  “Amiable Scoundrel” is perfect reading for those interested in the Civil War and those interested in United States politics of the latter half of the 19th century.

ISBN 978-1612348148, Potomac Books, Inc, © 2017, Hardcover, 384 pages, Photograph & Illustrations, End Notes, Bibliography & Index. $36.95.  To purchase a copy of this book click HERE.

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