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Mckinley

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  • April 2013
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Murdering McKinley by Eric Rauchway attempts to portray both sides fairly of the political assassination of William McKinley. He does not attempt to sway the reader one way or the other. He presents evidence from both the defense and prosecution. Evidence that supports both theories. The prosecution's theory that Leon Czolgosz was sane as opposed to the defense claiming that he was indeed insane. On September 6, 1901 a man by the name of Leon Czolgosz shot president William McKinley with a .32 caliber pistol at the Pan -American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He fired twice into the president hitting him in the chest and stomach. Initially he seemed to be recovering from his wounds but then he took a turn for the worst and died six days later on September 14, 1901. Leon Czolgosz was one of eight children, two boys and six girls. His family fled to America fleeing persecution in Prussia against Polish Catholics. His father Paul settled in Michigan in 1873. After a few months he sent for his family and settled in Detroit. But the Czolgosz's kept seeking a place more like the home they had left behind. His mother Mary died in 1883. They left the farm they had purchased in Posen and headed back to Alpena. At this time Leon was ten when he enrolled in school there. He was considered very bright and was allowed to remain in school until he reached the age of sixteen. The law during that time only required children to attend until the age of fourteen. Leon's world was one of disillusionment. The land of freedom had failed him, reneging on it's promise of equality (167). He came to believe his American dream would never come to pass. Democracy and individualism were only used as a guise to cover up a capitalistic society. He saw corruption all around him. The Czolgoszes and especially Leon had bought into the American dream. If he had never drunk so deeply of it's promise he could never have fallen so far into disillusionment (166). The...