Thomas's Reviews > The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898

The War Lovers by Evan Thomas
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's review
Sep 27, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, history
Read from August 24 to September 27, 2010

I knew very little about Theodore Roosevelt before reading The War Lovers, and now that I have, I have little desire to know more. The "rush to empire" and the birth of American Exceptionalism is told here in sharp bold strokes. Thomas occasionally says more with one well chosen quotation than other others can in pages of description. It's a little disheartening to see how eager Americans were to engage in a war that was not only unnecessary, but precipitated by war-mongering politicians and yellow journalists who saw opportunities for self-promotion over everything else. And this only a little over 30 years after the incredible carnage of the Civil War. This isn't to say that Thomas is doing any moralizing here, but it's difficult for the reader not to. Maybe in a hundred years someone will write a similar book about the Iraq war, Bush, and his own circle of war lovers. I hope so anyway, and I hope it will be this incisive.

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