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A Time of Scandal: Charles R. Forbes, Warren G. Harding, and the Making of the Veterans Bureau, by Rosemary Stevens

A Time of Scandal: Charles R. Forbes, Warren G. Harding, and the Making of the Veterans Bureau,... A TimeofScandal:CharlesR.Forbes,WarrenG.Harding, andtheMakingoftheVeteransBureau ByRosemaryStevens (Baltimore,MD: JohnsHopkinsUniversityPress,2016)(376pages; $34.95cloth) The latest book from Rosemary Stevens, a distinguished scholar of the his- tory of public health, medicine, and health policy, is an epic tale of scandal. DepictingthebrieftenureanddisastrousdownfallofCharlesForbes,thepost- World War I director of the federal agency now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs, it accomplishes at least three feats. First, it calls into ques- tion a century-old historiographical truism: Forbes was a crook. Second, it compels the reader to ponder why political scandals erupt, what they accom- plish, and the damage they leave in their wakes. Finally, Stevens’ picture of 1920sWashington,whichincludesvividdetailsofmarriages,loveaffairs,and family dynamics, demonstrates that public and private life are inextricably sometimesperilouslylinked. Drawing from an array of archives, as well as newly unearthed personal collections of Forbes’ descendants, Stevens shows that her central character’s early career was shaped by his immigrant parents and working class roots, his professional experience as a construction planner and manager, and his friendshipsespeciallyonewithWarrenG.Harding.WhenHardingbecame president in 1921, he prioritized finding positions in his administration for associates, including Forbes, who was assigned the massive task of overseeing veterans’health,insurance,andvocationaleducationbenefitsattheBureauof WarRiskInsurance,whichwouldsoonbecometheVeterans’Bureau. Forbes entered the position, Stevens notes, determined to succeed in the faceofconsiderablechallenges.Hispredecessorreportedlytoldhim,“...you are coming into a job that will bring http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

A Time of Scandal: Charles R. Forbes, Warren G. Harding, and the Making of the Veterans Bureau, by Rosemary Stevens

Nursing History Review , Volume 28 (1): 3 – Sep 19, 2019

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2020 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.28.209
Publisher site
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Abstract

A TimeofScandal:CharlesR.Forbes,WarrenG.Harding, andtheMakingoftheVeteransBureau ByRosemaryStevens (Baltimore,MD: JohnsHopkinsUniversityPress,2016)(376pages; $34.95cloth) The latest book from Rosemary Stevens, a distinguished scholar of the his- tory of public health, medicine, and health policy, is an epic tale of scandal. DepictingthebrieftenureanddisastrousdownfallofCharlesForbes,thepost- World War I director of the federal agency now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs, it accomplishes at least three feats. First, it calls into ques- tion a century-old historiographical truism: Forbes was a crook. Second, it compels the reader to ponder why political scandals erupt, what they accom- plish, and the damage they leave in their wakes. Finally, Stevens’ picture of 1920sWashington,whichincludesvividdetailsofmarriages,loveaffairs,and family dynamics, demonstrates that public and private life are inextricably sometimesperilouslylinked. Drawing from an array of archives, as well as newly unearthed personal collections of Forbes’ descendants, Stevens shows that her central character’s early career was shaped by his immigrant parents and working class roots, his professional experience as a construction planner and manager, and his friendshipsespeciallyonewithWarrenG.Harding.WhenHardingbecame president in 1921, he prioritized finding positions in his administration for associates, including Forbes, who was assigned the massive task of overseeing veterans’health,insurance,andvocationaleducationbenefitsattheBureauof WarRiskInsurance,whichwouldsoonbecometheVeterans’Bureau. Forbes entered the position, Stevens notes, determined to succeed in the faceofconsiderablechallenges.Hispredecessorreportedlytoldhim,“...you are coming into a job that will bring

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 19, 2019

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