The introduction begins with the retrospective observation of the writer Elizabeth Ellet that Washington society once referred to James Buchanan and William Rufus King as the “Siamese twins.” From there, the book presents the modern, often sexualized understandings of their relationship and briefly surveys what the existing literature on politics, sexuality, and friendship offers this book, including the arguments of Buchanan biographer Philip Klein and novelist John Updike. The book argues that their personal and political relationship conformed to a model of intimate male friendship, or “bosom friendship,” prevalent in nineteenth-century America. It then outlines the chapters that compose the book and concludes by calling for greater attention to the part played by historical memory in the study of these two much misinterpreted figures.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.