Quotes by Harlow Giles Unger

"He believed the future of the nation was at stake, and he returned day after day to fight his war against the “slaveocracy.” And Quincy voters sent him back to Congress again and again. Louisa fretted about his health and safety, but she had lost all influence over him and could do nothing to restrain him. He was unstoppable—a meteor spiraling out of control in the political firmament."

"Elected fifth president of the United States, Monroe transformed a fragile little nation - "a savage wilderness," as Edmund Burke put it - into "a glorious empire." Although George Washington had won the nation's independence, he bequeathed a relatively small country, rent by political factions, beset by foreign enemies, populated by a largely unskilled, unpropertied people, and ruled by oligarchs who controlled most of the nation's land and wealth. Washington's three successors - John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison - were mere caretaker presidents who left the nation bankrupt, its people deeply divided, its borders under attack, its capital city in ashes."

"Contrary to the writings of some historians, Monroe's proclamation was entirely his own creation-not Adam's. The assertion that Adams authored the "Monroe Doctrine" is not only untrue, it borders on the ludicrous by implying that President Monroe was little more than a puppet manipulated by another's hand. Such assertions show little insight into the presidency itself and the type of man who aspires to and assumes that office; indeed, they denigrate the character, the intellect, the intensity and the sense of power that drive American presidents."


"obligations to the United States, ladies and gentlemen, far surpass the services I was able to render. These date back to the time when I had the good fortune to be adopted by the United States as one of her young soldiers, as a beloved son. The approbation of the American people . . . is the greatest reward I can receive. I have stood strong and held my head high whenever, in their name, I have proclaimed the American principles of liberty, equality and social order. I have devoted myself to these principles since I was a boy, and they will remain a sacred obligation to me until I take my final breath. . . . The greatness and prosperity of the United States are spreading the light of civilization across the world—a civilization based on liberty and resistance to oppression, with political institutions based on the rights of man and republican principles of government by the people.19"

Books by Harlow Giles Unger

  • Lafayette
  • 912 ratings
  • November 1st 2003 by Wiley (TP)

    (first published August 19th 2002)

Harlow Giles Unger
  • Harlow Giles Unger

  • Date of birth: August 03, 1931
  • Description: A former Distinguished Visiting Fellow in American History at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Harlow Giles Unger is a veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator, and historian.