On September 3, 1902, Theodore Roosevelt is finishing up a campaign tour of New England. He has been president for not quite a year, since William McKinley's assassination. After delivering a short speech in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he heads in his horse-drawn carriage to the neighboring town of Lenox. Suddenly, an electric streetcar comes hurtling down the hill and broadsides the carriage. President Roosevelt is thrown forty feet and sustains an injury to his leg that will eventually kill him. His Secret Service bodyguard is thrown under the wheels of the trolley and dies instantly. The trolley's motorman is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six months in jail.
Was this an accident? In The Attempted Murder of Theodore Roosevelt, TR doesn't think so. He has already attracted a slew of enemies who want him gone: anarchists, like the one who murdered McKinley; the railroad trusts he has vowed to dismantle; Wall Street; rivals in a fractured Republican Party; southern racists; anti-imperialists; coal barons; and a military general or two.
Roosevelt asks John Hay, his secretary of state and a friend of long standing, to investigate. Hay matches wits with, among others, J.P. Morgan, Emma Goldman, Mark Hanna, and the bombastic, larger-than-life president. What Hay learns could blow apart a government, a nation — and a friendship.
"Go West, young man!" The crusading newspaper editor runs for president in 1872 and is crushed by the incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant. Within three-and-a-half weeks, Horace Greeley slips into madness and dies.
Of natural causes? John Hay, an editorial writer for Greeley's New-York Tribune, is asked to find out. As he unravels the sordid truth behind Greeley's death, he investigates the secrets of a stricken family, the struggle for control of a newspaper, and the highest and lowest corners of New York City and Washington, D.C.
© Burt Solomon | Contact