Franklin PierceFranklin Pierce by Michael F. Holt
My rating: 4/5 cats
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it’s franklin pierce, y’all!!!

new hampshire’s favorite son!

congress’ hardest drinker!

a wonderful paradox of a man – he wasn’t pro-slavery, he just hated abolitionists. how does that even work?? i’ll tell you how: cuz frank loved rules. he fucking loved that constitution more than he loved his depressed, socially awkward, rich wife, and those filthy abolitionists were trying to destroy it, and therefore america. watch out abolitionists!

it’s true, he is considered to be one of the worst. presidents. ever. but it’s not his fault he was woefully unqualified. he was pretty, and pretty people are used to everybody paying attention to them and supporting everything they do whether it should be supported or not. it doesn’t mean they are competent to serve. franklin was nominated, he batted his big eyes and said “sure, i’ll do it. we going to the bar afterwards?? will there be any abolitionists there?? there had fucking well better not be”

the biggest criticism of pierce (besides being “responsible” “for” “the” “civil” “war”)was that he tried to please too many people, and it all went horribly wrong. but i still maintain that he was a better president than zachary taylor. franklin pierce just wanted to make everyone happy, and to keep the democratic party together. he just didn’t know quite how to do that.but he didn’t actually seek candidacy, he was sort of shoehorned into it. here are some early signs that he might not have been the best candidate to lead our country:


In the dormitory at night, when solitary study was the prescribed regimen, Pierce was famous for bursting into other students’ room to start furniture-smashing wrestling matches.


As a result of Pierce’s carefree behavior, he ranked dead last academically in his class by the end of his sophomore year.

military finesse:

In his first serious battle, Pierce sat astride a horse given to him by his Concord townsmen and was ready to lead the brigade in a frontal assault on an enemy position. But a Mexican artillery salvo frightened Pierce’s steed, causing it to buck and throwing Pierce’s groin violently against the saddle pommel. Pierce briefly lost consciousness and began to fall from the saddle. His horse tripped and fell on Pierce’s knee, resulting in a serious and painful injury….in the brigade’s next battle Pierce, safely on foot – or so he thought – twisted the same knee injured in the previous fall and collapsed in acute pain. Again his men marched by as their commander lay on the ground. This time Pierce managed to hobble after his men, but by the time he reached them the serious fighting had ended. Finally, Pierce’s brigade took part in the storming of Chapultepec, the final battle of the entire campaign, but Pierce did not accompany them, he lay instead in a sick tent plagued with acute diarrhea.

and ohhhhh god, the accolades that pour all over abraham lincoln… abraham schlincoln: there are a gazillion books devoted to that gangly bastard, while franklin pierce gets this tiny-ass book?? but what no one wants to remember is that the only reason that the republican party even formed, and therefore the only way that lincoln could have been elected, was because pierce made such a hash of the democrats, dividing them against themselves until there was nothing “swinging-dick” buchanan could fix in time. so, you’re welcome, lincoln-lovers.

but isn’t this america???
aren’t we supposed to value and over-expose our most attractive members even if their accomplishments are negligible or morally questionable?? where are all my franklin pierce dolls and t-shirts and bedroom slippers?

and lord knows he had enough problems without people giving him a hard time about slavery issues. all his kids died, one of them in a train accident coming home FROM A FUNERAL!! i mean, really, cut frankie some slack.

and it’s partly a case of wrong time, wrong place. if this had happened a little bit later in time, there would have been one of those wacky misadventure-type biopic movies where someone is mistakenly placed in a job because of mistaken identity but remarkably overcomes knowing nothing and succeeds and becomes the best at whatever it is they do. that should have been pierce’s legacy.

instead, a lot of whiners about this civil war. let me just leave you with this: without the civil war, without BOOKS about the civil war, what on earth would i get my uncle for christmas??

i rest my case.

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