It was called "the dirtiest campaign in American history." In 1884 Republican James G. Blaine came within 1,047 votes of becoming president. Yet his career did not end there. He was twice U.S. secretary of state, credited with having started our country on the path to acting like a world power, a powerful Speaker of the House in Congress, and a U.S. senator from his adopted State of Maine. Sometimes called the "Plumed Knight" by the press, he was also, in the eyes of his opponents, "The Continental Liar From the State of Maine." This is the fascinating biography of a man who dominated the American political stage, starting just before the Civil War and continuing almost until the twentieth century. 2006 paperback, 368 pages.