No on Measure B

I have been spending a lot of time,  in recent weeks, arguing against a charter change here in Newport Beach, called Measure B. The measure would lengthen the term (to four or perhaps eight years) and increase the powers and change the selection method of our city’s mayor. Our slogan is “stop the power grab”…

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Sam Anderson 1935-2022

My friend Sam Anderson died today. I knew that this day would come—he was fighting lung cancer—but still it is a hard day. I first met Sam about twenty years ago, through my parents, but I really got to know him in 2015, when our bishop tried to sell our church to a developer for…

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William Howard Taft

I have agreed with Simon & Schuster on my next book: a biography of William Howard Taft. He is like my other subjects in that he was an American leader and lawyer, somewhat overlooked. He is unlike my other subjects in that he was president, something Seward and Chase wanted but never achieved. Here is…

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Chase events

The Chase book is now out and I am starting Chase events. Last night I was at the Newport Beach Public Library, for a great event, with many friends and neighbors. I started by saying a few words about my late father, who died in October 2020, as I was writing the last few paragraphs…

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Lincoln’s Death, Stanton’s Words

The one thing that people know about Secretary of War Edwin Stanton is that, right after President Abraham Lincoln died on the morning of April 15, 1865, Stanton said “now he belongs to the ages.” David Herbert Donald closed his great Lincoln biography, still my favorite, with “now he belongs to the ages.” Adam Gopnik,…

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Chase Status

Careful readers will have noted that the publication date of my Chase book has changed: it is now February 22, 2022. The delay is caused by delays at the printers; I have not been working on the book since sending final revisions to the publisher months and months ago. Most but not quite all of…

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Chase Events

We are now six weeks away from the publication, on November 9, of my Salmon Chase biography. I have not yet seen the final printed book, but expect to have one or two in my hands in perhaps two or three weeks. I have just posted, over on the events page, the list of Chase…

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Chase and Memorial Day

Last year I posted about Salmon Chase’s Memorial Day letter, from 1869, worth reading again this weekend. Chief Justice Chase was in South Carolina for circuit court duties, and he had been invited to attend an event at a cemetery just outside Charleston, South Carolina. Chase had to decline but explained his hopes as follows:…

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Chase Update

My Salmon Chase book is making progress towards publication November 9, 2021. I have corrected one set of page proofs; the publisher has them and is implementing the changes in a second set of page proofs. There were not many errors but those that WERE there were worrisome. On one page, for example, I misspelled…

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Chase Status

My book on Salmon Chase is progressing towards publication on November 9, 2021. The marketing staff at Simon & Schuster, about a month ago, suggested that the title did not work well. For one thing, the word “Chase” usually suggests Chase Bank, or a car chase, rather than Salmon P. Chase. For another, even with…

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