Book Trailer For Madam President

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Second Worlds Fair In Chicago

Since the first fair in 1893 made famous in the book Devil in the White City people assume the Colombian Exposition was it. But forty years later there was another fair in 1933. This time the fair was during the worst year of the Great Depression and while there was no mass murderer like Dr. Holmes there was Al Capone. Arguably Capone was more of a mass killer than Holmes could ever hope to be and this presented a problem for Chicago. How do you have a Worlds Fair when everyone thinks Chicago is out of control?

The truth was Chicago was out of control. Capone had a lock down on the cops, the judges, the mayor, witnesses...basically the city. It is hard to believed a major American city could come under the control of one man but that was the situation. The St. Valentines Day Massacre confirmed to the world that Chicago was under the thumb of gangsters. Worse, the city was due to have a Worlds Fair in 1933 which would turn out to be the worst year of the Great Depression with the city literally broke.

tt would take Six Millionaires banning  together to get rid of Capone while the Worlds Fair was built with private funds from corporations and some very creative financing. Judy Garland would sing, Sally Rand would dance, the Zephyr would a record with a run from Denver to Chicago, people would see an image from a device called television, make a long distance call, and go on the Sky Ride which would take people higher than they had ever been before.

How Chicago pulled off  A Century of Progress and rid the city of AL Capone is the story of the Worlds Fair  of 1933...the Second Worlds Fair in Chicago.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump wants Teddy Roosevelt's 230 Million Acres

There is a scene in my book Forging a President where Teddy Roosevelt is riding across the Badlands in the middle of the night with a full moon beaming down passing the amazing geological formations, buffalo, Indians, galloping across his own dream of being a cowboy out in the Wild West and he knew in that moment that as a young mans adventure in the Dakota Territory it would get no better than that moment and maybe that is when it occurred to him that the West would not last and that it would fall victim to the rapacious spirit of American exploitation and maybe that seed was planted then but he was determined that other generation would see what he had seen and when he became President he set aside 230  million acres for future generations.

So you can take your hat off to this farsighted President now and I think you better because the vested interests in the White House now have a toehold and they are reviewing twenty years worth of lands set aside under the 1906 antiquities act that Roosevelt signed into law. Under this law any president can set aside land or sites that he sees as valuable and preserve it for future generations. Trump and company would love to undo these protections and turn the land over to developers and corporations to drill, dig, develop for the almighty American dollar.

Fortunately Teddy's sweeping protection of 230 million acres is the heart of our national parks and the park service he set up to  protect it has done a very good job. But the gloves are off and what was considered normal before is no longer. Is TR's great vision of land set aside forever in danger? It could be if people don't realize what they would lose...and what the unborn would never see.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting for Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

You work  in the backyard. It is summer and you find it better to research a book under a tree. It is hot and you think again how things seem to slow down in summer. Not much seems to be happening. You wonder for the hundredth time if the advance copy of Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair is on the way. You have been told they mailed it. Three years before you started the research and now you are waiting for the galley. You go back to your book because it will probably not come today. Then you hear a motor.

The UPS truck is lumbering down the street. Another hot day  in the life of the UPS driver who jumps out and runs up to a house across the street. You tell yourself he wont be coming your way and go back to your reading. But the motor roars and you see the truck coming down the street. Still there are lots of other houses. There is no way he is going to turn into your drive. Still you cant keep your eyes off the truck as it goes behind a tree. No way. Then you see the truck turn.

Now you are up and walking across the hot grass. Another barefoot author in America looking for his reason to keep working. Looking for a book that will justify all those hours. Even now you figure the UPS guy is delivering something else. But he has that brown wrapped package that is flat. Here you go. Now you are walking back to your chair. You sit... and then tear it open.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Edith Wilson and the Twenty Fifth Amendment

The Twenty Fifth Amendment is in the news now. Many say Donald Trump cannot fulfill his duties as President because he might be crazy. See Mika and Joe. The Twenty Fifth Amendment passed in 1967 was created  in part because of what happened with the Woodrow Wilson Presidency and Edith Wilson's assumption of presidential power. Up to that point Clause 6 of Article 11 of the Constitution was vague. It said basically if the President can't fulfill his duties someone should take over. It did not even specify the Vice President.

When Woodrow Wilson had his stroke and Edith and Cary Grayson covered up his condition they were not really violating the Constitution. Few could say who would declare Wilson unfit and when Secretary Lansing asked Dr. Grayson if he he might do it Grayson refused and dared anyone to come forth and push the issue. No one did. So Edith ran the White House and essentially became our First Woman President.

But now  the 25th Amendment makes it clear. If the Vice President and his cabinet decide the President is unfit then the VP becomes President unless the President protests and then it goes to Congress for a vote. Edith Wilson would have been powerless if Vice President Marshall had taken the  inititative and had the cabinet vote on Wilson's ability to rule. Marshall would have become President and the Edith Wilson Presidency would have not happened.

So now we have Trump. Would Pence undertake such a vote? Not a chance. But at the least people know there is a vehicle now for Presidential succession should Trump become insane.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Friday, June 30, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt Would Thrash the Cad

It is an old term. Woodrow Wilson told some reporters that if they did not quit reporting on his first wife Ellen Wilson he would thrash them. It makes us think of a man with gloves slapping another man or someone whipping someone else. The technical definition is to beat someone with a stick or a whip. In the old Victorian sense of the word someone was thrashed for a slight on insult or an injury to honor. A thrashing was the warm up for a duel the ultimate settling of a slight. So now we really have a situation where someone needs to be thrashed.

Maybe Jeffry Lord on CNN should be thrashed for saying it is alright to imply that women are menstruating everywhere and bleeding from everywhere. Theodore Roosevelt would thrash Lord for that if not beat him to a pulp. Roosevelt confronted more than a few men who implied he was a coward and demanded retribution and even offered himself available for a duel. He in fact bought dueling pistols when he was a student at Harvard.

Another great word is cad. Definition: a man who misbehaves dishonorably especially toward a woman.  Cads are always thrashed sooner or later. There were certain lines that were not to be crossed. And when they were crossed the cad was thrashed. Lord says equality demands that men and women be treated equally and women should be able to take being insulted by powerful men.

What a cad.

Forging a President

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fame without Talent

Tis the age we live in. Fame without talent. Start with the Kardashians, veer to Donald Trump, then go where you want. It is ubiquitous. The latest is the budding Youtube star who convinced his wife to shoot in him in the chest with a book in front of him. It killed him. He wanted more viewers for his channel. He wanted fame. It is all around us. Just look at kids who spend all their times doing selfies or creating music videos with themselves at the center. Look at Facebook. It is the look at me motif with tattoos and flaming orange hair gone bad.

But if there is no talent then eventually fame flames out. For some it goes a long time depending on the money involved. But for middle class people angling for some oddity to push them into the stratosphere of quick silver fame it usually burns out very quickly. YouTube stars leer at people and proclaim anyone can do it. Just start filming yourself and put it out there. You are the star and you will pull the people unless of course you don't.

The couple with the book lived in the middle of nowhere. The husband was a bit of a daredevil. Their hook was look at our young crazy lives. So what is crazier than shooting a bullet into a book with your chest behind it with a fifty caliber pistol. It hit the Washington Post so I suppose it worked. Of course she is up for mansalughter, so maybe she can revel in the cascading ticker of viewers looking for some gore from prison.

william hazelgrove

Roosevelt and Churchill in the Heroic Age

I have been reading Hero of the Empire by Candace Millard and it hit me that the similarities between Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt are many. Both men came of age in the Heroic Age of Shackleton and Scott the two polar explorers who set the bar for suffering and death with their exploration of the South Pole. The Heroic Age can be defined as men of a certain patrician class feeling it is their destiny to explore, fight, or rule. The heroic man knows not fear and usually puts himself in grave danger.

Take Winston Churchill in the Boar war where he is attacked on a troop train and by all rights should have died there. This is when he was a war corespondent who really should not have even been fighting but he wanted to find war and test himself and he ended up being captured. Once captured Churchill makes a daring escape and goes on the run. The fact he could be shot and killed at any moment is negated by the heroic mans feeling that he is special and Gods Will shall keep him safe. In Churchill's case this seems to be true.

Much the same for Teddy Roosevelt who goes west after his wife and mother die on the same day in 1883 and ends up in the Badlands ;a place Custer called hell with the fires out and then puts himself through every test a young dude from the East could find with the possibility of death or great injury. Fighting Indians, badmen, blizzards, heat, stampeding cattle, swollen rivers, wild horses, Roosevelt cheats death at every turn...yet he comes out unscathed. He has the sense he will not be harmed and three years later he returns to the East to eventually become President as  Churchill returns to become England's greatest prime minister.

The Heroic Age ended as modernism moved in. Men were no longer heroic, they were mortal. Such a pity.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Books by William Hazelgrove