Ackerman, Kenneth David

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ACKERMAN, Kenneth David

* Indicates that a listing has been compiled from secondary sources believed to be reliable, but has not been personally verified for this edition by the author sketched.

PERSONAL: Born in Albany, NY. Education: Brown University, B.A., 1973; Georgetown University, J.D., 1976.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Olsson, Frank and Weeda PC, 1400 16th St. NW, Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20036. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Attorney. U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Washington, DC, minority staff counsel, 1976-81; Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington, DC, 1981-88; U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Washington, DC, special counsel, 1988-1993; Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, Washington, DC, manager, 1993-2001; Risk Management Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, administrator, 1996-2001; Olsson, Frank and Weeda PC, Washington, DC, partner, 2001—.


The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and BlackFriday, 1869, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1988.

Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and PoliticalMurder of President James A. Garfield, Carroll & Graf Publishers (New York, NY), 2003.

Also author of a number of articles and publications covering legal, regulatory, and historical topics.

SIDELIGHTS: Washington attorney Kenneth Ackerman's first book The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and Black Friday, 1869 explores the role of the two men in the financial panic of 1869. His second historical examination, Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield, offers a glimpse of American history a decade later. He traces the events leading up to and including James A. Garfield's ascent to the presidency, the second-shortest tenure in that office in U.S. history. Garfield was chosen as the Republican Party's candidate after the longest Republican nominating process to date, and won the closest popular vote for the presidency by only some 7,000 votes. He had only been in office for four months when he was shot by an assassin, who wanted to see Garfield's vice president, Chester A. Arthur, in office. Garfield died from blood poisoning about a month and a half later.

A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "in Ackerman's hands, the story of Garfield's presidency and murder comes brilliantly alive." The reviewer also felt that the book is "long on narrative, and short, very short, on analysis" and that it would have been helpful if the author had explored the ways in which the political struggles affected other significant social and economic issues of the time. William D. Pederson in Library Journal noted that Ackerman "effectively captures the drama" of the period, and that "with great narrative skill, [he] tackles the fascinating cast of characters" associated with the events. He also commented on Ackerman's "extensive knowledge of the period and his longtime personal experience with politics" as qualifications for exploring the topic. A reviewer for Kirkus Reviews applauded Ackerman's "engaging account," and remarked that the book provides a "welcome glimpse into the little-known time between the Civil War and the Gilded Age."



Barron's, June 11, 1990, Robert Sobel, review of TheGold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and Black Friday, 1869, pp. 24-25.

Business and Society Review, fall, 1989, J. Patrick Lewis, review of The Gold Ring, pp. 78-79.

Columbia Business Law Review, winter, 1989, Allen Boyer, review of The Gold Ring, pp. 195-203.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of Dark Horse:The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield, p. 723.

Library Journal, June 15, 2003, William D. Pederson, review of Dark Horse, p. 86.

Publishers Weekly, April 28, 2003, review of DarkHorse, p. 56.


Olsson, Frank and Weeda, P.C., (March 6, 2004).

Publishers Group West, (March 6, 2004), synopsis of Dark Horse.*