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The Sound of Ideas

The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War

Posted Friday, November 27, 2009

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The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War Historians generally rank Marion, Ohio's Warren Harding as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. That's largely due to the number of scandals that his appointees were involved in. But it's time Harding got his due, some say, pointing out that at least he put an end to President Wilson's longstanding practice of excluding blacks from federal appointments. Local attorney Jim Robenalt is among those trying to rehabilitate Harding's reputation and he's using some unlikely material to do it: the spicey love letters Harding wrote to his mistress, a neighbor, who may have been a German spy. Friday at 9 on 90.3, we’ll spend an hour with Robenalt and hear how he gained access to this trove of love letters and why he thinks America's 29th President should get better marks.


Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest


James David Robenalt, author, The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War

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wsb 2:18 PM 12/3/09

I’m struggling a bit with the interpretation of Harding’s speech at Birminghan, Ala. on Oct 26, 1921.  This piece from the New York Times ( provides a pretty cryptic interpretation of what Harding said.  I’ve read it a couple of times and while it isn’t 100% clear what the NYTimes is trying to say, it doesn’t seem that Harding was unequivocally calling for one man one vote elections as is often suggested.  Thoughts?


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