West Virginia History, N.S. 6, No.1, Spring 2012 who made Hanna into a national caricature of the evil puppet master. Because Hanna was unable to cultivate an alternative political narrative, his negative image became grist for the political mill, and few historians have sought to examine the sources more closely. Here it is the press and historians that merit some criticism and scorn for their willingness to simply embrace the established story line, and to trot out the malevolent ghost of Hanna to haunt the contemporary political scene with faulty comparisons. Most notably, the specter of Hanna was identified with George W. Bush's political adviser Karl Rove in the midst of the controversial 2000 presidential election campaign. The two men were very different, but this did not stop journalists from making connections that were based on mythology. Horner's biography of Hanna is unquestionably the most thorough analysis to date. It is fresh, balanced, and the author's reliance on personal papers, memoirs, newspapers, and mounds of secondary literature makes for a compelling argument and a fine study of Gilded Age politics. While the reader may not agree with all of his conclusions, he does provide a compelling portrait of
West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Apr 25, 2012
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