Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
Do you see that dot there? It's the world tiniest violin and I'm playing it for Franklin Pierce. Ok, so maybe the guy was kind of harshly judged in his time, but this book just reads like a bad case of the poor me's.
The book itself was pretty poorly written, and definitely not well proofread (or converted to ebook for that matter). Yes, I make typos on the regular, but come on - misspelling Pierce Pearce, that's kind of ridiculous. Also, and maybe this one's just me, but sentence constructions such as "Nor did the voters of Hillsborough fail to forget how..." left me feeling pretty confused (So, did they not not forget? Did they remember?)
In terms of his thesis, that Pierce got an unfairly bad rap, it would have been significantly strengthened by letting us in on what Pierce did that was good rather than just arguing that he was not as bad as others suggested.
The author brought up some legitimate points. Yes, the suspension of habeas corpus is a bit of an infringement on civil liberties. However, he's so heavy-handed in his accusations that it comes off sounding defensive. With lines like "This was the dark underside of Lincoln’s America," and references to Lincoln's "usurpation of power," I had trouble buying in.
We hear a lot about Pierce's two BFFs, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Jefferson Davis. So, that's a thing. Maybe Pierce wasn't worthy of being "the most hated man in America," but it also seems like he wasn't much to write home (or a book) about.