Daniel Webster Biography
January 24, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

What's the best, most readable biography of Daniel Webster?

I recently finished reading American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which I enjoyed more than I expected, in part because I believe the author emphasized readability over attempting to catalog every single moment of Jackson's life.

The book left me curious about Jackson's contemporaries, and I'm now looking for a similar biography of Daniel Webster. This is for my own interest and entertainment, so I'm willing to sacrifice scholarly rigor for readability (although not to the point of fictionalization).

Bonus points for kindle/e-book availability.
posted by Partial Law to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not solely about Webster, but Merrill Petersen's The Great Triumvirate is an awesome sort of triple biography of Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun with a strong emphasis on their political philosophies and their contemporaneous (and later) impact.
posted by Bourbonesque at 3:26 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

The most recent seems to be Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time, but the author is a professional historian of Jacksonian america rather than a Pop History author, but it's as tight and comprehensive a read as you're likely to find on the man.

And, as far as I can tell, this is the first real comprehensive treatment of Webster since the late 1970s.

Before that, he seems to have gotten the treatment in the 1950s, and before that you're hardly looking at histories at all anymore, at least in the modern sense.

"Secondary" characters in US History tend to get reworked treatments maybe once a generation. Jackson will be re-imagined about every 5 years, meaning there's a lot more chances to "get it right."
posted by absalom at 4:16 PM on January 24, 2012

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