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All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay
by John Taliaferro
672 pages
Simon & Schuster
Published: May 2013

John Taliaferro’s biography of John Hay was published in 2013, eight decades after the most recent substantial biography of Hay (Tyler Dennett’s 1934 Pulitzer Prize winner “John Hay: From Poetry to Politics.”) Taliaferro is a former editor at Newsweek magazine and the author of six books including biographies of environmental pioneer George Bird Grinnell, “cowboy artist” Charles M. Russell and adventure writer Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Few figures in American history are more consequential, compelling and nearly forgotten than John Milton Hay (1838-1905). One of Abraham Lincoln’s two personal secretaries (and co-author of Lincoln’s most notable early biography), Hay was…

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