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Banana Republican
Eric Rauchway

Depicted as braggart, brute, and bore in The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan has gotten a bad rap and means to correct the record. That weak-kneed, simpering cousin of his wife's, with his prattling about some lost idealized American individualism and rectitude, was not only a fool and a liar, but worse: a failed bond salesman. Pathetic. But by 1924 Tom has bigger problems than the pathos of the summer of '22. First, there's Aunt Gertrude, who has assumed control of the Buchanan fortune.

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Murdering McKinley
Eric Rauchway

When President William McKinley was murdered at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, on September 6, 1901, Americans were bereaved and frightened. Rumor ran rampant: A wild-eyed foreign anarchist with an unpronounceable name had killed the commander-in-chief. Eric Rauchway's brilliant Murdering McKinley restages Leon Czolgosz's hastily conducted trial and then traverses America with Dr. Vernon Briggs, a Boston alienist who sets out to discover why Czolgosz rose up to kill

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Blessed Among Nations
Eric Rauchway

Nineteenth-century globalization made America exceptional. On the back of European money and immigration, America became an empire with considerable skill at conquest but little experience administering other people's, or its own, affairs, which it preferred to leave to the energies of private enterprise. The nation's resulting state institutions and traditions left America immune to the trends of national development and ever after unable to persuade other peoples to follow its

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