Josephus Daniels

His Life and Times

By Lee A. Craig

512 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 26 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-0695-8
    Published: May 2013
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5323-5
    Published: February 2019
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-0696-5
    Published: May 2013
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4034-9
    Published: May 2013

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As a longtime leader of the Democratic Party and key member of Woodrow Wilson's cabinet, Josephus Daniels was one of the most influential progressive politicians in the country, and as secretary of the navy during the First World War, he became one of the most important men in the world. Before that, Daniels revolutionized the newspaper industry in the South, forever changing the relationship between politics and the news media. Lee A. Craig, an expert on economic history, delves into Daniels's extensive archive to inform this nuanced and eminently readable biography, following Daniels's rise to power in North Carolina and chronicling his influence on twentieth-century politics.

A man of great contradictions, Daniels--an ardent prohibitionist, free trader, and Free Silverite--made a fortune in private industry yet served as a persistent critic of unregulated capitalism. He championed progressive causes like the graded public school movement and antitrust laws even as he led North Carolina's white supremacy movement. Craig pulls no punches in his definitive biography of this political powerhouse.

About the Author

Lee A. Craig is Alumni Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University. He is author of six books and numerous scholarly articles, essays, and reviews on U.S. and European economic history.
For more information about Lee A. Craig, visit the Author Page.


"The definitive biography."--Rocky Mount Telegram

"Superb. . . . Craig's effort is the one that will stand as the definitive account of Daniels' life. . . . A thoroughly researched work that will satisfy scholars and is also a cracking good yarn for the engaged reader."--Rob Christensen, Raleigh News and Observer

"Excellent. . . . Mr. Craig's judgments are fair, and his prose is clear, vigorous and free of jargon."--Wall Street Journal

"Craig’s exhaustively researched and highly readable biography of a complicated and interesting man. . . . should be fascinating to the general reader. In Craig’s hands, the story of a very complex man living in the tumult of war and depression becomes a clear and intriguing page-turner."--John Lehman, Washington Post

“A splendid biography.”--The News & Observer

“A compelling narrative that allows the reader to better understand Daniels’s world, and still perceive the possibilities for a different American future that were foreclosed by his actions.”--Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians