Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Teapot Dome Scandal: Corruption Rocks 1920s America

The Teapot Dome Scandal: Corruption Rocks 1920s America

Barbara J. Davis
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 10 to 12
Compass Point Books, 2008   ISBN: 0756533368

When Warren G. Harding became the president of the United States in 1920, people all over America were hopeful that he would bring prosperity back to the country. Following World I, America entered a period of economic hardship and the people chose Harding believing that he, with his open face and easy smile, would set things to rights.

Unfortunately Harding turned out to be the kind of man who did not always think things through. Eager to reward the people who had supported him in his bid for the White House, Harding gave his friends and allies positions of influence in the Cabinet. Several of the people he appointed to Cabinet positions had unsavory pasts and dubious reputations. Harding chose to ignore these facts. One of his Cabinet members, Albert Fall, decided to use his position as Secretary of the Interior to make some money. He leased government owed naval oil reserves to private companies so that they could extract oil and thus makes millions. For his cooperation, Fall was given sizeable sums of money. Fall clearly expected that his corrupt business dealings would go unnoticed, but instead everything came to light and one of the biggest political scandals in America’s history was blow wide open.

This excellent Snapshots in History title gives readers a fascinating picture of 1920’s American politics. Readers will come to understand how the Teapot Dome deal came about, and how it was exposed.