All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt. By John Taliaferro. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013. Pp. 700. Cloth, $35.00; paper, $20.00.) John Hay (18381905) was born in Salem, Indiana, and grew up in Warsaw, Illinois. His search for education drew him to larger towns and richer cultures: Pittsfield and Springfield in Illinois, then to Providence, Rhode Island, where he graduated from Brown University. During the Civil War, Hay and his friend John George Nicolay (18321901) served President Lincoln as personal secretaries. In 1890 the two published Abraham Lincoln: A History in ten volumes. Hay was also an effective diplomat under Presidents Johnson, Hayes, McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. His last two posts were his most important: ambassador to Britain and secretary of state. Along the way he drew national attention as a poet, novelist, and journalist, working especially in New York City for Horace Greeley's and later Whitelaw Reid's New York Tribune. He knew most of the powerful politicians and writers of his era; among the latter he counted Bret Harte, Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, and Henry James. In 1874 Hay married Clara Stone, daughter of the wealthiest man in Cleveland.
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 9, 2014