Malkin Lecture: The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur

Chester Arthur, our nation’s 21st president, went from a promising start as a young lawyer in Manhattan to being known as a crooked crony of the New York Republican political machine. As Quartermaster General for the New York State Militia during the Civil War and as a socially ambitious businessman, he interacted with the members of the Seventh Regiment repeatedly throughout his career. With the assassination of President Garfield, Arthur found himself in the Executive Mansion in September 1881 (which he would later hire the same artists who worked at our Armory to redecorate). He was truly a Gilded Age president for the nation but little is known about him today due to his distrust of the press and his destruction of his private papers before his death. Author Scott Greenberger will introduce us to this New York president and describe how from the moment Arthur took office, he proved to be not just honest but brave, going up against the very forces that had controlled him for decades. He surprised everyone—and gained many enemies—when he swept house and took on corruption, civil rights for African Americans, and the issues of land for Native Americans.

Scott S. Greenberger is the executive editor of Stateline, a nonprofit journalism project funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, where he guides a team of veteran journalists who report on state politics and policy in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Before joining Pew, Greenberger was a staff writer at The Boston Globe, where he covered education, served as City Hall bureau chief, and was the primary policy reporter in the Globe‘s State House bureau. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico and GQ. He is the co-author, with former Sen. Tom Daschle, of The New York Times best-seller Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.

Image: Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States. Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.


Return to Arts at the Armory Listing  

Monday, November 5

at 6:30pm

$15 General Admission and Armory Friend ($100) members
$12 Senior/Student
$10 Armory Supporter ($250) members and above

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