At the time of his death in 1925, William Jennings Bryan was, as Henry Steele Commager wrote, "the most representative American of his time." In this engaging narrative, Leinwand takes a fresh look at William Jennings Bryan, his character, and his mental, spiritual, and intellectual development. The variety of views about Bryan and the uncertainty of Bryan's own accomplishments as a politician are, as Leinwand demonstrates, reflected in the larger tumult that was American society of the era. Leinwand also includes, in an epilogue, a discussion that has engaged the attention of scholars as to whether the Wizard of Oz was in effect an allegory for Bryan's failure in his campaign for silver.
Gerald Leinwand is president emeritus of Western Oregon University and founding dean of the school of education at Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York. He is the author of many books, including 1927: High Tide of the Twenties and Mackerels in the Moonlight: Four Corrupt American Mayors. He is currently working on a biography of former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.
Prologue Chapter 1: The Boy Orator Chapter 2: Young Man in a Hurry Chapter 3: "Cross of Gold" Chapter 4: "I Have Kept the Faith" Chapter 5: Hero of Lost Causes Chapter 6: "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" Chapter 7: The Waning Years Chapter 8: The War on Science Chapter 9: Bryan: Joshua of American Fundamentalism Epilogue Suggestions for Further Reading