Ohio History Journal

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Journey Through My Years. An Autobiography. By James

M. Cox. (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1946. xi + 463p.


When the youthful James M. Cox left his job with the Cin-

cinnati Enquirer to become the private secretary of a Congress-

man, his initiation into public life had begun. Cleveland was one

of his first heroes, and the debates of the Fifty-third Congress,

which he followed closely, were his "equivalent for a university

course." At 28 Cox acquired his first newspaper. In Taft's ad-

ministration he represented the Third Ohio District in his own

right; by 1912 he was nominated by acclamation for the governor-

ship of Ohio. He became the first governor in the history of his

native State to serve three terms. In 1920 he was the national leader

of his party, and gallantly fought Wilson's losing fight for the

League of Nations. Thereafter he retired from public duties to

manage his rapidly growing newspaper holdings in Ohio, Florida,

and Georgia. He declined opportunities to head the Federal Re-

serve System and to go to Europe as an ambassador, but he con-

sented to represent the United States at the London Economic

Conference of 1933.

Two great causes seem to have dominated Cox's career. One

was his deep concern for greater social justice. The other was the

struggle for an international order which would bring peace and

happiness to the world.

Cox came into the governorship on the progressive tide that

produced the new Ohio Constitution of 1912. With remarkable

talent for leadership and a genuine faith in the processes of dem-

ocracy, he implemented the new constitutional amendments by

securing the enactment of a legislative program during his first