Bryan’s philosophy was so compelling that it later shaped Woodrow Wilson’s progressive social policies and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
So, why didn’t Bryan win the presidency and take his place alongside the great figures of political history?
Largely because Bryan avoided tangling with powerful enemies, especially the Ku Klux Klan.
Lesson: Eloquent words are fine, but they turn hollow without the courage to back them up.
—Adapted from A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan, Michael Kazin, Knopf.