This week on Q&A, our guest is Bloomberg syndicated columnist and author Amity Shlaes. She discusses her newly released biography of the 30th President of the United States, titled “Coolidge.” She traces the life of Calvin Coolidge from his early days in Plymouth Notch, Vermont through his presidency and ultimate return to New England where he died at the age of 60. She states that Coolidge should be remembered for the fact that when he left office in 1929, the federal budget was lower than when he took office in 1923. She tells the story of Coolidge’s rise through local and state politics in Vermont and Massachusetts. Shlaes describes Coolidge’s involvement as governor of Massachusetts with the Boston Police strike in 1919. She suggests that his actions gave him a national reputation as a decisive leader. She reviews the years of Coolidge’s presidency which were marked by the introduction of electricity in the country, the widespread use of automobiles, and the reversal of the federal budget deficit into a surplus. She describes Calvin Coolidge as a loving and caring father and talks about the death of his oldest son while he was in the White House.
Amity Shlaes received a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University in 1982. She writes a syndicated column for “Bloomberg View,” and is also the director of the Four Percent Growth Project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. This is her third book. She is married to journalist and editor Seth Lipsky. They have four children and reside in New York.