Though McCartney adds nothing new to the story, he has a solid grasp of it in this retelling. The Bechtel Story examines corruption and scandal at the highest levels of the federal government in his look at the scandal of Warren G. Harding's administration, Teapot Dome. The groundwork for the scandal was in fact in place even before Warren G.
Harding had won the Republican nomination in his bid for the presidency. America's top oil companies had funneled money into the Harding campaign, providing the kind of monetary support needed for Harding to win the White House. In return, Harding appointed Albert Fall as his secretary of the interior, a position the oil interests believed would open up the Naval Oil Reserves in Wyoming the teapot dome reserve and California for their companies, something that Fall did accomplish.
Once this quid pro quo became public, Congress pressed Harding to nullify the lease; the Supreme Court ruled that the authority Harding had given to Fall in the first place was illegal. McCartney's final section details what happened to the key individuals. The major conspirators received little or no jail time. The Teapot Dome scandal showed how monetary political contributions could lead to political corruption, something we now take for granted. Readers unfamiliar with this bit of history will find this work heavy in detail and light in general context.
Recommended for informed readers in public and academic libraries.
Thank you for using the catalog. The Teapot Dome Scandal: Harding and his so-called "oil cabinet" made it possible for the oilmen to secure vast oil reserves that had been set aside for use by the U. When news of the scandal finally emerged, the consequences were disastrous for the nation and for the principles in the plot to bilk the taxpayers: Stonewalling by members of Harding's circle kept a lid on the story--witnesses developed "faulty" memories or fled the country, and important documents went missing--but contemporary records newly made available to McCartney reveal a shocking, revelatory picture of just how far-reaching the affair was, how high the stakes, and how powerful the conspirators.
Teapot Dome Scandal, Summary "Mix hundreds of millions of dollars in petroleum reserves; rapacious oil barons and crooked politicians; under-the-table payoffs; murder, suicide, and blackmail; White House cronyism; and the excesses of the Jazz Age. Booklist Review Featuring graft, murders, suicides, and prison, the Teapot Dome affair of the s vies as the most egregious case of American political corruption.
It was just after 6: Jake Hamon had been drinking most of the afternoon. He needed a nap if he was going to make supper. Clara Hamon was in the adjoining room when Jake came in. She listened as he dropped his keys and change on the bureau and collapsed on the bed. She and Jake had been together ten years. They shared the Hamon name but were neither married nor related. The marriage had been a "blind. Sharing the Hamon name made it easier for them to travel together, registering in hotels as Jake and Clara Hamon.
Jake had left his wife and two children for Clara. A clerk in a dry goods store, Clara had been seventeen at the time, eighteen years Jake's junior. With her wavy brown hair modestly done up, her deep blue eyes, and her reluctance to wear rouge, she looked more like an attractive young schoolteacher than Jake Hamon's mistress.
After they met, Jake offered her a job, sent her to stenography school, and took her out to the oil fields with him when he'd been wildcatting on the Osage and up on the Panhandle. Clara was smart and every bit as ambitious as Jake. For the past few years, she'd been acting as his business partner and adviser. Not even in his wildest dreams could he have imagined the good fortune that had recently befallen him.
Until six months ago, Jake had been a big fish in a pond that was far too small to accommodate his vast ambitions. The raucous, hard-drinking Hamon had graduated from the Law Department of the University of Kansas, then set off for Indian Territory present-day Oklahoma , where he clerked in a store in Newkirk. When the Kiowa-Comanche country opened up to settlement, Jake went in with the first rush of new settlers to Lawton, then an Indian town.
Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. McCartney (Friends in High Places: The Bechtel The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country - Kindle edition by Laton McCartney. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country [Laton McCartney] on reinforcedearth.com.my *FREE* shipping.
Over the next few years, he had been named Lawton's first city attorney and chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Territorial Committee; made money building a railroad with John Ringling, the circus impresario; and then got into oil, where the real money was. Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later. Enter a Robert Mueller-type figure, Thomas James Walsh, Democratic Senator from Montana, who was pressed into service as a member of the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, to lead the investigation into the who affair. Walsh's tenacity, intelligence, and integrity in the face of overwhelming odds "The whole thing was a dog's breakfast, an unsavory mess," writes McCartney is inspirational, especially today.
Walsh was often discouraged from continuing his investigation, often by his own party, for political reasons -- voters didn't want the government's time and money invested in a witch hunt. Meanwhile, millions of dollars in American resources were being re-allocated from government use to private profit. Forget history and you'll repeat it.
Today the Teapot Dome Scandal remains a pointed cautionary tale about what goes on when we choose to look the other way, when we decide following a complicated trail of duplicity to its source is too time-consuming. What's very scary is that today's scandals are far worse: Teapot Dome might have been the worst scandal our nation had ever seen -- until now. If you want a break from today's craziness, yet you can't get yourself to look entirely away from it, read this book.
It's an eye-opening, page-turner yep, an unsolved murder and illicit affairs fatten up the plot that will leave you hopeful that with the right special counsel and enough time for a complete investigation, justice will be served. May 29, Sean Lavan rated it liked it Shelves: I did very much like the book, and it covered a topic I was interested in and learned a good deal about. The writing was accessible and engaging, it was an easy pager turner and enjoyable. The loss of stars from me was the manner in which the research notes were presented - they were pretty thin. I have conflicted feelings about that.
I would have received harsh grades on this if I'd handed it in as a history major, so I acknowledge I may be hypersensitive to the idea, but it really was drilled o I did very much like the book, and it covered a topic I was interested in and learned a good deal about. I would have received harsh grades on this if I'd handed it in as a history major, so I acknowledge I may be hypersensitive to the idea, but it really was drilled on us.
There were no notations within the chapters themselves, but that's pretty common in "pop history" books. Vague, loosely referenced citations broad general chapter comments in this instance - sometimes only one brief sentence long tend to suggest that there may be deeper issues in either the research or the writing. I'm always left with the feeling that the author has perhaps taken liberties to fill in the blanks where needed, or, at the other end of the spectrum, lifted too heavily from a single secondary source too much. But the author is providing broad coverage. The book is an overview, not a daring new take on the subject or a controversial thesis requiring an ironclad defense.
I didn't get any strong sense that I was being led to a conclusion which was not supported by research. Conclusions regarding exchanges between parties which the author arrived at by induction or inference were generally openly presented as such, so I didn't pick up any of the red flags that sometimes accompany other loosely cited history. There were instances of personal emotions and motives on the part of the principal actors presented which may have been filled in as "color", but I didn't get the impression that any attempt was being made to create a bias for or against any of the major players in those instances.
If anything the added color simply humanized good and bad the parties involved. In instances such as this, I am reading the book as an introduction to a specific subject, and it succeeds quite well. There are similar books I've read of late where I could give a nearly identical review in regards to the vagueness of research citations, and still other books I've read where I feel the manner of citation even when better than it was here covered up a much more concerning bias in the presentation of controversial ideas. And I wasn't ever really worried about that while reading this book.
So take my concerns about citations with that in mind here. Accessibility and presenting information is what I'm looking for the most with a book like this. I was looking for an overview of the subject, and found a nice one here. And the writing was very enjoyable and I know more now than I did previously. McCartney has introduced me to a subject and invited me to do more research, and so I am very happy that I read the book. May 31, Phrodrick rated it really liked it. It is commonplace in for American's to state that all politicians are corrupt.
It seems a safe way to use cynicism to protect yourself. All too often some politician proves to be more error prone than a simple defense of being human allows. This happens enough that to plead that all politicians are not corrupt is to label yourself as too naive or too partisan to be credible. What interests me is that the most vocal in preemptive condemnation of politicians seem to be blind or at least less c It is commonplace in for American's to state that all politicians are corrupt. What interests me is that the most vocal in preemptive condemnation of politicians seem to be blind or at least less cynical on the subject of corporate greed and corruption.
Either big money corruption is so endemic or so exceptional, that there is no need to make any sweeping statements in condemnation of big money. Laton McCartney's The Teapot Dome Scandal is a reminder that absent the willingness of major corporations to act against the public good, many political scandals would fail a birthing for lack of funds or motivation. Long before , a single non-rich or influential person has minimal ability to illegally change the allocation of public resources. In the investigations there would be mistresses, murders, campaign donations and all the best and worst of this kind of bribery scheme.
It would be termed the "Scandal of the Century "although it may have a better claim as the first scandal of modern American national politics. Laton McCartney is a journalist.
His book represents a well-documented version of this history. It is a journalist's version. The emphasis is on readability and on creating and maintaining reader interest. In general these are good things. Even a bare recitation of events makes this case something of a page turner.
Allowing for McCartney's substantial skills with journalistic license this is page turner reading. McCartney may not have the best legal case for some of his linkages and he may not be perfect in reproducing the record. Given that even the best academic historians can disagree on the facts, it is for the best academic historians to define McCartney's errors and rule on the relative fatal effects of these errors against the totality of the book.
The Teapot Dome Scandal is a good, general reference and even better story telling. It is an important reminder that the good old days looked a lot like today. It is also a reminder that as Adam Smith tried to warn: When private interests attempt to influence public policy, private interests are at best lying and at worst working against the public good.
The begining chapters about Hammon and his mistress are quite well writen and fun. And the following or pages about how oil man bribed Fall are also quite ok. And I went on to a trip to vietnam, and quite lost my interest in the following "investigation of bribery" part of the book. And I dont think they mean much to the major story line. Overall, a good topic about a roaring s but somehow the author wasted t The begining chapters about Hammon and his mistress are quite well writen and fun.
Overall, a good topic about a roaring s but somehow the author wasted this good topic. A book that should have been written by better history writers. Jul 29, MisterFweem rated it it was amazing. Of course, I love history. But watching a scandal like this unfold at a time when we think innocence applied to government.
Or that's just my naivete coming out. Which is why I read history. To learn that I am innocent and naive. McCartney tells a good tale here. Lots of people who covered their tracks messing with government officials who did almost nothing to cover their tracks. Aug 26, Amoxy Mox rated it really liked it.
But, it was stopped. Stay in Touch Sign up. In giving us a gimlet-eyed but endlessly entertaining portrait of the men and women who made a tempest of Teapot Dome, Laton McCartney again displays his gift for faithfully rendering history with the narrative touch of an accomplished novelist. If the reader of this book really wants to understand the story explained by this book it will be necessary to draw a chart with lines connecting the various names and actions. View all 46 comments. Good to know 90 years ago I wouldn't have liked the Republicans for the same reason I don't like them today.
Very fascinating read about one of the biggest scandals in the 20th century Probably only eclipsed by Watergate. Corrupt officials brazenly steal huge oil reserves from the Dept. And it is very relevant today as the current administration is doing a lot of the same things. And as bad as Warren Harding was as President, he has no worries as being the worst President ever.
Aug 21, Avigail rated it liked it. It's a confusing story, with many characters, and McCartney does an admirable job bringing them to life. He gives an excellent sense for the stakes of the scandal for its conspirators and for the government, for the American republic and its people. More importantly, he reveals how the public's indifference to corruption and their idol worship of wealth and the wealthy subverted justice and undermined democracy.
This is quite a juicy and fairly lively history. The dollar amounts involved are still impressive, even in current times after a century of inflation. It has a disheartening ending though, since justice rarely touches the rich. Rivetting account on the Teapot Dome Scandal and the impact of big oil companies on government. With a story that seemed to hard to believe and yet so easy to see happening again, McCartney digs into the story with ease and excitement and hope for some redemption not easily found. Aug 20, Pete Williamson rated it liked it Shelves: A briskly told story of one of the biggest governmental scandals of the 20th century.
It's important for us to know our history in order to have perspective in our own time. Jan 05, Shayne rated it really liked it Shelves: Engaging in the extreme, a tale of greed and corruption fit to make the blood boil. Jan 07, Krenzel rated it it was ok Shelves: The major theme of the tour was to show what life was like back in the s.
Of course, nothing at the house tells you about the Teapot Dome scandal, and all I ever learned about the scandal was a one paragraph discussion in my high school textbook. As far as President Harding himself goes, the book treats him as a minor character, and his story is never really told. He is a dark horse candidate for the presidency, a little known senator from Ohio, who is cast as a reluctant candidate, more interested in playing golf and having fun with his mistresses than dealing with some oil fields in Wyoming and California.
Beyond this, his character is never explored. While we are told the frontrunner at the Republican convention refuses to go along the oil cronies and insists on naming his own candidate, leading to his downfall, we never discover what Harding knew about the promises made to certain campaign donors which secured his candidacy. When the scandal starts to take off, and the Interior Secretary, Albert Fall, submits a report to the Senate explaining the oil field leases, McCartney teases us with a glimpse of possible analysis, posing the question of whether the president actually read the report.
On page of the book, Harding is alive and well, about to embark on a cruise to Alaska. Two sentences describe his death, and then Harding disappears for the rest of the book. The flaws in his character — cowardice, indifference, or lack of ethics? While the specific terms of the deals are laid out in great detail, at the end, there is little attention paid to the outcomes of these men. Fall is convicted of taking a bribe, but curiously both oilmen are exonerated of offering him this same bribe, drawing the obvious implication of how the wealthy are treated in our criminal justice question.
While both oilmen are billionaires, using their money to buy their freedom, the destitute Fall is the one who must pay for their crimes. In fact, the biggest scandal of all may not have been what the oilmen did to secure the leases, but the fact that they were never brought to justice, a question McCartney never delves into in his book. In the end, "Teapot Dome" tells the facts of the scandal, but never goes beyond the gossip to provide an in-depth understanding of what happened during the Harding administration and the relevance of this scandal to us now.
For example, what does it say about our system of government in America that something like this was allowed to happen? If we should learn from history not to repeat the same mistakes, what are the lessons about Teapot Dome we should carry forward today? The most interesting aspect of the Teapot Dome scandal comes from its parallels to the George Bush administration, yet McCartney misses a great opportunity to connect the dots and not just recount a sordid part of America's past but give an important history lesson about the ramifications of corruption in government.
Mar 08, Glenn rated it really liked it. Enjoyed going through the history of what took place. The investigation and hearings section was somewhat long and repetitious. Feb 20, Cindy rated it really liked it Shelves: I found the insight into this period of American history fascinating. The Teapot Dome Scandal 1 2 Sep 21, Books by Laton McCartney. See All Goodreads Deals….