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Presidents of War

From a preeminent presidential historian comes a groundbreaking and often surprising saga of America’s wartime chief executives
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 mobilized their country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President, at times sending hundreds of thousands of American men and women to their deaths. 
From James Madison and the War of 1812 to recent times, we see them struggling with Congress, the courts, the press, their own advisors and antiwar protesters; seeking comfort from their spouses, families and friends; and dropping to their knees in prayer. We come to understand how these Presidents were able to withstand the pressures of war—both physically and emotionally—or were broken by them.
Beschloss’s interviews with surviving participants in the drama and his findings in original letters, diaries, once-classified national security documents, and other sources help him to tell this story in a way it has not been told before. Presidents of War combines the sense of being there with the overarching context of two centuries of American history. This important book shows how far we have traveled from the time of our Founders, who tried to constrain presidential power, to our modern day, when a single leader has the potential to launch nuclear weapons that can destroy much of the human race.

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Anonymous says:

An excellent and engaging wartime narrative from 1807 to Vietnam I approached this as a dedicated fan of Michael Beschloss, having read several of his books previously and having seen him speak. I especially enjoyed his most recent book, “Presidential Courage,” and I found this to be a very similar book which focused specifically on presidents in times of war. Although told as individual, episodic tales across usually two chapters (one on the lead up to a war and the other on the war itself), Beschloss does a fine job of linking all of these events…

Anonymous says:

The Imperial Presidency Goes to War In 1973 Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote “The Imperial Presidency” and described the situation that we have today, between a Presidency with an ever-increasing power, and a Congress that is incapable of fulfilling its function under the Constitution. Almost fifty years later the situation has become far worse; as is recounted in this very upsetting book.Even the title of Michael Beschloss’ new book seems…

Anonymous says:

Very well written, moving narrative The author brings us into the White House to watch each of the presidents who presided over Americas wars as they struggle with managing their wars. What we learned in history classes in high school really cleaned up these president’s handling of war. War is a messy thing at best, and acting as commander in chief during wars is almost beyond human abilities. The story of the war presidents we lived through is especially emotional to read. Don’t expect this book to arouse your patriotism…

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