Amity Shlaes: What Would Coolidge Do?

President Coolidge fending off mendicant congressmen. (By Paul Rivoche, courtesy of Coolidge House in Washington DC)

The King of Stuff chats with Amity Shlaes, author of The Great Society, Coolidge, The Forgotten Man, and editor of the new Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge. She serves as chair of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and talks about his unique inauguration, his executive style, and what Joe Biden could learn from him. Then Jon talks about the end of the Trump era and the beginning of (shudder) the Biden Era.

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There are 9 comments.

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  1. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)

    Anybody know anything about that opening song/artist?  I could not match it to the KoS Spotify playlist.

    • #1
  2. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)

    Arguably, Coolidge could be credited with making the US a super-power through his visionary monetary and fiscal management.  Biden will undo that.

    • #2
  3. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge
    Jeff Hawkins

    Her books are great

    • #3
  4. colleenb Member

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Her books are great

    Agree. I really enjoyed the Forgotten Man. One of my (many) criticisms of Ken Burns is that he did not (apparently) read her book and/or interview her for his Roosevelt series. His documentaries are very much the old, liberal view of things rather than trying to incorporate some of the revised historical analyses that are out there. For Burns the Vietnam War was a complete disaster, FDR was great on the economy, etc, etc. 

    • #4
  5. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Anybody know anything about that opening song/artist? I could not match it to the KoS Spotify playlist.

    It’s not available on Spotify, but it’s called “Suddenly It Occurs To Me There’s No Ocean Here” by Blue Wave Theory. I found it on a royalty-free music clip site so there wouldn’t be any copyright issues. 

    • #5
  6. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    A much-appreciated episode. And while it may be Jon’s destiny to be the King of Stuff, he doesn’t get in the way at all, and lets his guest speak. A rare talent these days.

    • #6
  7. KevinStamber Thatcher

    Great podcast, Jon. Amity always is infectiously positive in talking about Calvin, and it provides more appreciation for the man. Especially for his joy of the common man.

    • #7
  8. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):
    Suddenly It Occurs To Me There’s No Ocean Here


    Here’s a version on Spotify by Artificial Intelligence.  Sounds about the same.  Good for KoS Playlist ;)


    • #8
  9. Cosmik Phred Member
    Cosmik Phred

    Great episode, Jon!

    “The Forgotten Man” and “The Great Society” are shining examples of “ the fatal conceit” and what destruction it can inflict.  Amity’s ability to identify interesting protagonists – some heroic, some tragically flawed and well meaning – and properly contextualize them transforms conventional history into tragedy.  And she’s able to achieve this without being didactic or hectoring.  Quite a gift.

    Time to download “Coolidge” to my Audible library.

    • #9