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An American Politician by Francis Marion Crawford
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An American Politician

by Francis Marion Crawford

In 1880’s Boston, Mass. the good life is lead according to all the Victorian era societal rules of the New World. Political ambitions and the business of making money go hand in hand. A Senate seat suddenly opens up due to the current junior senator’s unexpected death, and the political machinations to fill the seat begin. Senatorial candidate John Harrington is a young idealist who thinks that fighting for truth and justice, regardless of political affiliation, is the way. But he is told he can’t possibly win because he isn’t partisan enough. His opponents in the iron mine, railroad and shipping business sabotage his first bid for office, because he wants to do away with protectionism in trade to open up global competition. He eventually succeeds in winning a Senate seat. He gives a rousing speech to Congress as they gather to elect a President in a race which has ended in a three way tie. His message is that blindly following a party’s positions and principles is not being free and independent, and will not always lead to the best person being elected, or to the best decisions being made for the country as a whole. (Summary written by Maire Rhode)

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