Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times
BILL GATES'S SUMMER READING LIST
Ten years in the research and writing, Presidents of War is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and ...more
Win a Copy of This Book
Format: Print book
Giveaway ends in:
Availability: 25 copies available, 2181 people requesting
Giveaway dates: Oct 22 - Nov 15, 2019
Countries available: U.S.
In addition to thinking about those who fought and died in the war, I have also spent a lot of time learning about those who directed the war. My i ...more
With that one mortar shell, South Carolina touched off a conflict that would claim the lives of approximately 618,222 soldiers. The greatest toll of lives, by far, of an ...more
Not surprised to learn that most of the presidents were lifelong avid readers—wish that was currently the case. As Harry S. Truman said, “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Appreciated the different perspectives from the biographies on Grant and Roosevelt I read earlier this year.
This amazing piece of historical record brought me to tears on many occasions just thinking about the mothers and fathers who lost their children to wars fought for the benefit to get a President re-elected, out of selfish pr ...more
At the dawn of the American republic, the framers of the constitution had a dream: that war would be regarded as the last resort of their invented political system. Unlike the European powers at that time, where monarchs and dictators could declare war at will, in the American Republic it ...more
An interesting thread to follow through American history, the presidents that served during wartime from the War of 1812 to Vietnam. A few chapters are devoted to each conflict with the background to the war and the man in office at the time along with politics more broadly. It is interesting how one bleeds into the next via the advisers or the young Congressman of one being President the next. But more importantly decisions made during ...more
Much has been written about how America’s wars have been conducted. Michael Beschloss has written a book about how America’s wars have started.
When a king was unpopular, the framers of the Constitution observed, he would often contrive a war to gain popular support. Thus, in order to make it difficult for a President to take the nation into conflict unilaterally, Congress was given the power to declare war. Beschloss argues th ...more
by Stan Prager (1-30-19)
The Founders sought a separation of powers in war-making, as in so much else of consequence to the new Republic, so the Constitution mandated that only Congress may declare war, while assigning to the President of the United States authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. A history of European monarchs engaging in war by fiat informed this caution in limiting the ability of the executive bran ...more
1. The coverage of the events is a little light, I'm familiar with many of the stories told.
2. The book felt like it was a subtle advocacy piece.
The bias in the book made it hard for me to accept.
The Persian Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are relegated to a brief Epilogue, still too recent for fully considered historical judgement. Each war is vividly described from the point of view of the Presidents, their supporters and op ...more
I highly recommend.
This is a fantastic piece of work exploring the thread running through American history of Presidents and their expanding war time powers. This book spotlights the presidents who fought unnecessary wars, the presidents who lied or manipulated actions to enter wars, and how these presidents chose to involve Congress before and during war time. The constitution grants Congress the power to declare war, but ...more
As recent tensions (I write in July 2019) with North Korea and Iran underscore, the potential and power of a U.S. president to lead the nation into war is great, and brings solemn consequences in terms of loss of life, ongoing entanglements, or the ultimate cataclysm of nuclear conflict. Michael Beschloss, in th ...more