The Teapot Dome Scandal
How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country
By Laton McCartney
(Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812973372, 384pp.)
Publication Date: January 13, 2009
List Price: $16.00*
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In this amazing and at times ribald story, Laton McCartney tells how Big Oil handpicked Warren G. Harding, an obscure Ohio senator, to serve as our twenty-third president. Harding and his “oil cabinet” made it possible for cronies to secure vast fuel reserves that had been set aside for use by the U.S. Navy. In exchange, the oilmen paid off senior government officials, bribed newspaper publishers, and covered the GOP campaign debt. When news of the scandal finally emerged, the consequences were disastrous. Drawing on contemporary records newly made available to McCartney, The Teapot Dome Scandal reveals a shocking, revelatory picture of just how far-reaching the affair was, how high the stakes, and how powerful the conspirators–all told in a dazzling narrative style.
“A terrific tale that resonates nearly a century on, at a time when many people are still wondering about the connections between Big Oil and politicians at the highest levels.”
–Jon Meacham, author of Franklin and Winston
“This is a story that has it all–a Jazz Age background, a pleasure-loving president surrounded by booze and chorus girls, boomtown capitalists from the Wild West, [and] conniving politicians. . . . [Laton McCartney has] a certain zest for Teapot’s sordid comedy [and] delivers fresh, arresting portraits of the main players, some of them lovable rogues, others beady-eyed scoundrels.”
–The New York Times
“The most thorough treatment of the scandals to date.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Titillating, tantalizing . . . The book reads like a novel. McCartney’s cast of characters jumps off the page.”
“A cautionary tale of what happens when corrupt and indifferent public officials give an industry undue influence over public policy.”
–The Denver Post
–St. Louis Post-Dispatch