Skirmisher: The Life, Times, and Political Career of James B. Weaver tells the story of a 19th-century politician whose two campaigns for the White House helped change the course of American politics.
Weaver served three terms in Congress and ran twice for president, once as the nominee of the Greenback-Labor Party in 1880 and again as the Populist nominee in 1892, when he carried four states. He supported government ownership of the railroads, changes in monetary policy, a graduated income tax, and the direct election of senators. Deeply held religious principles guided Weaver’s approach to politics, which he saw as a means of putting “the principles of the Galilean in motion among men.”
This book, the first full-length biography of Weaver in almost 90 years, offers the reader a panoramic view of some of the great events of the 19th century the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, and presidential politics from the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 to the rise of William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Skirmisher also sheds new light on the role of religion in American politics and the influence of third parties in presidential elections.
“This is an insightful, splendidly researched study about an unjustly forgotten veteran of the civil and political wars that shaped nineteenth-century America. One of the most significant agrarian reformers in U.S. history, and the only one to win electoral votes, James Weaver has long deserved a biography. Robert Mitchell has done him proud.” Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan