WASHINGTON -- I am indebted to Amity Shlaes for gently correcting a joke of mine that dates back to July 8, 1972. On that date in the New York Times, I joshed that President Calvin Coolidge "probably spent more time napping than any president in the nation's history" and therefore was a successful president. My joke was a play on an earlier joke by H. L. Mencken, and now Shlaes has corrected both of us. She has written a very impressive biography titled simply "Coolidge," wherein she never mentions Cal's naps but rather what made him the most successful president of...
Thanks for the tip about the Coolidge biography. I have always admired Amity Shlaes's writing. She strikes me as someone with a lot of common sense, much like Calvin himself. Anyone who has visited the Coolidge birthplace in Vermont will gain a lot of respect for an America that could elevate such as he to the presidency. Comparisons, the man says, are invidious ...
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