Niall Palmer: British Historian says taking a look at Harding is worth it

Historians in the News

MARION - When it comes to President Warren G. Harding's achievements compared to other presidents, a British scholar is asking other historians to cut the Marion native some slack.

Niall Palmer, who wrote "The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process" and "The Twenties in America: Politics and History" said he finds Harding interesting because of how more attention has been paid to his personal life rather than his politics.

"The more I read the less I was convinced he was a failure," said Palmer. "I found he was not a (political) party man, was not bullied by Congress. He performed very credibly in office."

Palmer, a lecturer in U.S. politics at London's Brunel University, will be speaking on Harding Tuesday evening at Ohio State University at Marion. The lecture, "The Evolving Legacy of President Warren G. Harding," will be held at 7 p.m. in the Student Center's Guthery Room and is free and open to the public.
The scholar said he believes part of the problem with accounts of Harding is that the presidential papers were not released until 1963, 40 years after his death in 1923. He said that left historians with less information to go on than they may have had on other presidents.

Palmer also said the fact that the nation's 29th president died in office 23 months into his term, almost halfway through a full four-year term, means historians are looking at less of a time line compared to most other presidents.

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