Book picks similar to
Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War: The End of the American Century by David F. Schmitz
George Washington: First Guardian Of American Liberty
Michael Crawley - 2016
But where did he get his military experience? Why was picked to take command of the army? Why was he the only American president ever to be elected unanimously (twice!), and did he really chop down that cherry tree as a kid?In this book entitled George Washington: First Guardian of American Liberty by author Michael Crawley, you'll follow the course of George Washington's life, from his birth at Ferry Farm in Virginia in 1732, to his death at his Mount Vernon estate in 1799. You'll learn how his early fame as a hero of the French and Indian War, and his illustrious marriage to a wealthy widow, led to this farm boy becoming one of the most important men in Virginia, a delegate at the Continental Congress where the Founders of America gathered to decide the nation's fate. The first guardian of American liberty looks serene in his portraits, but he didn't always rise above the fray. Washington fought for what he believed in, and his political convictions shocked contemporaries like Thomas Jefferson. Do you know what kind of country George Washington wanted America to be?
Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours that Made History
Andrew Cohen - 2014
Kennedy pivots dramatically and boldly on the two greatest issues of his time: nuclear arms and civil rights. In language unheard in lily white, Cold War America, he appeals to Americans to see both the Russians and the "Negroes" as human beings. His speech on June 10 leads to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963; his speech on June 11 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Based on new material -- hours of recently uncovered documentary film shot in the White House and the Justice Department, fresh interviews, and a rediscovered draft speech -- Two Days in June captures Kennedy at the high noon of his presidency in startling, granular detail which biographer Sally Bedell Smith calls "a seamless and riveting narrative, beautifully written, weaving together the consequential and the quotidian, with verve and authority." Moment by moment, JFK's feverish forty-eight hours unspools in cinematic clarity as he addresses "peace and freedom." In the tick-tock of the American presidency, we see Kennedy facing down George Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama, talking obsessively about sex and politics at a dinner party in Georgetown, recoiling at a newspaper photograph of a burning monk in Saigon, planning a secret diplomatic mission to Indonesia, and reeling from the midnight murder of Medgar Evers.There were 1,036 days in the presidency of John F. Kennedy. This is the story of two of them.From the Hardcover edition.
George Washington: Gentleman Warrior
Stephen Brumwell - 2012
The book focuses on a side of Washington that is often overlooked: the feisty young frontier officer and the early career of the tough forty-something commander of the revolutionaries' ragtag Continental Army.Award-winning historian Stephen Brumwell shows how, ironically, Washington's reliance upon English models of "gentlemanly" conduct, and on British military organization, was crucial in establishing his leadership of the fledgling Continental Army, and in forging it into the weapon that secured American independence. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including original archival research, Brumwell brings a fresh new perspective on this extraordinary individual, whose fusion of gentleman and warrior left an indelible imprint on history.
Inventing George Washington: America's Founder, in Myth and Memory
Edward G. Lengel - 2010
Lengel delivers an entertaining and erudite history of America's Founding Father. In Inventing George Washington, a captivating counterpart to Lengel’s General George Washington: A Military Life, the historian looks at Washington’s life and writings, at the creation of his mythos, and at what his legacy means for our nation and ourselves.
Lewis L. Gould - 2011
Naturalist. Warrior. President. There are so many sides to Theodore Roosevelt that it is easy to overlook one of his most enduring contributions to American public life: the use of fame to fuel his political career. In this concisely written, enlightening book, presidential historian Lewis L. Gould goes beyond the "bully pulpit" stereotypes to reveal how Roosevelt used his celebrity to change American politics. Based on research gleaned from the personal papers of Roosevelt and his contemporaries, Theodore Roosevelt recaptures its subject's bold activism and irrepressible, larger-than-life personality. Beginning with his privileged childhood in New York City, the narrative traces his election to the New York Assembly, where he quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party. It is here that he first applied his shrewd ability to keep himself in the spotlight--a skill that served him well as commander of a volunteer regiment (dubbed "Roosevelt's Rough Riders") in the Spanish-American War. Gould shows how Roosevelt rode a wave of popular acclaim at the war's end, assuming the governorship of New York and serving as president from 1901 to 1909. While covering his major accomplishments as chief executive, including his successes as a trust-buster, labor mediator, and conservationist, Gould explains how fame both sustained and limited Roosevelt when he ran for president in 1912 and opposed Woodrow Wilson's policies during World War I. Theodore Roosevelt delivers the most insightful look yet at a pioneer of political theater--a man whose vigorous idealism as a champion of democracy serves as a counterpoint to the cynicism of today's political landscape. The book will coincide with the 100th anniversary of Roosevelt's third party run for the Progressive or Bull Moose Party.
Davidson Butler - 2014
His epitaph, which he composed, reads, "Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia." Jefferson's tombstone does not bear a word of his political accomplishment - forty years as an officeholder, Virginia assemblyman, Continental congressman, ambassador to France, secretary of state, vice president, and president of the United States. He felt that these were honors the people had given him, and he wanted no credit for them. But the three accomplishments chiseled into the "coarse stone" he specified for his monument were his gifts to the people of the United States. They sum up Jefferson's vision of a nation of free people with the education and culture to preserve and enjoy their freedom. Here is his story.
The Kennedy Imprisonment: A Meditation on Power
Garry Wills - 1982
The winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Garry Wills reveals a family that enjoyed public adulation but provided fluctuating leadership, that experienced both unparalleled fame and odd failures, and whose basic values ensnared its men in their own myths of success and masculinity. In the end, Wills reveals that the the Kennedys' crippling conception of power touched every part of their public and private lives, including their relationships with women and world leaders. Sometimes gossipy, sometimes philosophical, The Kennedy Imprisonment is a book that is as true, insightful, and relevant as ever.
The Kennedy Brothers : The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby
Richard D. Mahoney - 1999
The author, Richard D. Mahoney, whose father was a friend of Bobby's and an appointee of Jack's, has both the academic and political experience necessary to evaluate evidence of the Kennedys' relations with the Mafia, anti-Castro rebels, and other groups lurking in the shadows of American life. He also has a sharp eye for the brothers' differing yet complementary personalities. Jack was intellectual and cheerfully cynical, with a zest for pleasure increased by a life-threatening illness concealed from the public. He looked to passionate, partisan Bobby for bulldog-like political support and used his brother as a "moral compass" when planning his administration's actions on civil rights, the corruption of organized labor, and the containment of Communism. Their powerful father, Joseph--whose deep pockets basically bought Jack the presidency and at the same time compromised it because of Joseph's links to organized crime--looms over the brothers as the author of a Faustian bargain that may well have played a role in JFK's assassination. Mahoney's vivid, compulsively readable text offers suggestive questions rather than definitive answers, but it certainly succeeds as a bracing corrective to "America's inability to see its history as tragedy," a failure Jack and Bobby emphatically did not share. --Wendy Smith
Reagan's Secret War: The Untold Story of His Fight to Save the World from Nuclear Disaster
Martin Anderson - 2009
In penning this book, New York Times bestselling authors Martin Anderson and Annelise Anderson drew upon their unprecedented access to more than eight million highly classified documents housed within the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California—unseen by the public until now. Using his top secret clearances, Martin Anderson was able to access Ronald Reagan’s most privileged exchanges with subordinates and world leaders as well as the tactical record of how Reagan fought to win the Cold War and control nuclear weapons. The most revelatory of these documents are the minutes of Reagan-chaired National Security Council meetings, the dozens of secret letters sent by Reagan to world leaders, and the eyewitness notes from Reagan-Gorbachev summits. Along with these findings, the authors use Reagan’s speeches, radio addresses, personal diaries, and other correspondence to develop a striking picture of a man whose incisive intelligence, uncanny instincts, and quiet self-confidence changed the course of history. What emerges from this treasure trove of material is irrefutable evidence that Reagan intended from his first days in office to bring down the Soviet Union, that he considered eliminating nuclear weapons his paramount objective, and that he—not his subordinates—was the principal architect of the policies that ultimately brought the Soviets to the nuclear-arms negotiating table. The authors also affirm that many of Reagan’s ideas, including his controversial “Star Wars” missile-defense initiative, proved essential in dissolving the Soviet Union and keeping America safe.Riveting and eye-opening, Reagan’s Secret War provides a front-row seat to history, a journey into the political mind of a remarkable leader, and proof that one man can, through the force of his deep convictions, bring about sweeping global change.
The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century
Clay Risen - 2019
When America declared war on Spain in 1898, the US Army had just 26,000 men, spread around the country—hardly an army at all. In desperation, the Rough Riders were born. A unique group of volunteers, ranging from Ivy League athletes to Arizona cowboys and led by Theodore Roosevelt, they helped secure victory in Cuba in a series of gripping, bloody fights across the island. Roosevelt called their charge in the Battle of San Juan Hill his “crowded hour”—a turning point in his life, one that led directly to the White House. “The instant I received the order,” wrote Roosevelt, “I sprang on my horse and then my ‘crowded hour’ began.” As The Crowded Hour reveals, it was a turning point for America as well, uniting the country and ushering in a new era of global power. Both a portrait of these men, few of whom were traditional soldiers, and of the Spanish-American War itself, The Crowded Hour dives deep into the daily lives and struggles of Roosevelt and his regiment. Using diaries, letters, and memoirs, Risen illuminates a disproportionately influential moment in American history: a war of only six months’ time that dramatically altered the United States’ standing in the world. In this brilliant, enlightening narrative, the Rough Riders—and a country on the brink of a new global dominance—are brought fully and gloriously to life.
The Worst President--The Story of James Buchanan
Garry Boulard - 2015
No son or daughter is doomed to acknowledge an ancestry from him.” Nearly a century and a half later, in 2004, writer Christopher Buckley observed “It is probably just as well that James Buchanan was our only bachelor president. There are no descendants bracing every morning on opening the paper to find another heading announcing: ‘Buchanan Once Again Rated Worst President in History.’”How to explain such remarkably consistent historical views of the man who turned over a divided and demoralized country to Abraham Lincoln, the same man regarded through the decades by presidential scholars as the worst president in U.S. history? In this exploration of the presidency of James Buchanan, 1857-61, Garry Boulard revisits the 15th President and comes away with a stunning conclusion: Buchanan’s performance as the nation’s chief executive was even more deplorable and sordid than scholars generally know, making his status as the country’s worst president richly deserved. Boulard documents Buchanan’s failure to stand up to the slaveholding interests of the South, his indecisiveness in dealing with the secession movement, and his inability to provide leadership during the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis.Using the letters of Buchanan, as well as those of more than two dozen political leaders and thinkers of the time, Boulard presents a narrative of a timid and vacillating president whose drift and isolation opened the door to the Civil War. The author of The Expatriation of Franklin Pierce: The Story of a President and the Civil War (iUniverse, 2006), Boulard has reported for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and is a business writer for the Albuquerque-based Construction Reporter."
The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution: 1980-1989
Steven F. Hayward - 2009
It was a word most Americans weren’t using much in 1980. As they waited on gas and unemployment lines, as their enemies abroad grew ever more aggressive, and as one after another their leaders failed them, Americans began to believe the country’s greatness was fading.Yet within two years the recession and gas shortage were over. Before the decade was out, the Cold War was won, the Berlin Wall came crashing down, and America was once more at the height of prosperity. And the nation had a new hero: Ronald Wilson Reagan.Reagan’s greatness is today widely acknowledged, but his legacy is still misunderstood. Democrats accept the effectiveness of his foreign policy but ignore the success of his domestic programs; Republicans cheer his victories over liberalism while ignoring his bitter battles with his own party’s establishment; historians speak of his eloquence and charisma but gloss over his brilliance in policy and clarity of vision. From Steven F. Hayward, the critically acclaimed author of The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, comes the first complete, true story of this misunderstood, controversial, and deeply consequential presidency. Hayward pierces the myths and media narratives, masterfully documenting exactly what transpired behind the scenes during Reagan’s landmark presidency and revealing his real legacy. What emerges is a compelling portrait of a man who arrived in office after thirty years of practical schooling in the ways of politics and power, possessing a clear vision of where he wanted to take the nation and a willingness to take firm charge of his own administration. His relentless drive to shrink government and lift the burdens of high taxation was born of a deep appreciation for the grander blessings of liberty. And it was this same outlook, extended to the world’s politically and economically enslaved nations, that shaped his foreign policy and lent his statecraft its great unifying power.Over a decade in the making, and filled with fresh revelations, surprising insights, and an unerring eye for the telling detail, this provocative and authoritative book recalls a time when true leadership inspired a fallen nation to pick itself up, hold its head high, and take up the cause of freedom once again.
Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis--Suez and the Brink of War
David A. Nichols - 2011
Eisenhower guided the United States through the Suez Canal crisis of 1956. The crisis climaxed in a tumultuous nine-day period fraught with peril just prior to the 1956 presidential election, with Great Britain, France, and Israel invading Egypt while the Soviet Union ruthlessly crushed rebellion in Hungary. David A. Nichols, a leading expert on Eisenhower’s presidency, draws on hundreds of documents declassified in the last thirty years, enabling the reader to look over Ike’s shoulder and follow him day by day, sometimes hour by hour as he grappled with the greatest international crisis of his presidency. The author uses formerly top secret minutes of National Security Council and Oval Office meetings to illuminate a crisis that threatened to escalate into global conflict. Nichols shows how two life-threatening illnesses—Eisenhower’s heart attack in September 1955 and his abdominal surgery in June 1956—took the president out of action at critical moments and contributed to missteps by his administration. In 1956, more than two thirds of Western Europe’s oil supplies transited the Suez Canal, which was run by a company controlled by the British and French, Egypt’s former colonial masters. When the United States withdrew its offer to finance the Aswan Dam in July of that year, Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized the canal. Without Eisenhower’s knowledge, Britain and France secretly plotted with Israel to invade Egypt and topple Nasser. On October 29—nine days before the U.S. presidential election—Israel invaded Egypt, setting the stage for a “perfect storm.” British and French forces soon began bombing Egyptian ports and airfields and landing troops who quickly routed the Egyptian army. Eisenhower condemned the attacks and pressed for a cease-fire at the United Nations. Within days, in Hungary, Soviet troops and tanks were killing thousands to suppress that nation’s bid for freedom. When Moscow openly threatened to intervene in the Middle East, Eisenhower placed American military forces—including some with nuclear weapons—on alert and sternly warned the Soviet Union against intervention. On November 6, Election Day, after voting at his home in Gettysburg, Ike rushed back to the White House to review disturbing intelligence from Moscow with his military advisors. That same day, he learned that the United Nations had negotiated a cease-fire in the Suez war—a result, in no small measure, of Eisenhower’s steadfast opposition to the war and his refusal to aid the allies. In the aftermath of the Suez crisis, the United States effectively replaced Great Britain as the guarantor of stability in the Middle East. More than a half century later, that commitment remains the underlying premise for American policy in the region. Historians have long treated the Suez Crisis as a minor episode in the dissolution of colonial rule after World War II. As David Nichols makes clear in Eisenhower 1956, it was much more than that.
The Clinton Wars
Sidney Blumenthal - 2003
From his first day in the White House until long after his appearance as the only presidential aide ever to testify in an impeachment trial, Blumenthal acted in or witnessed nearly all the battles of the Clinton years. His major new book—part history, part memoir—is the first inside account we have of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton.The Clinton Wars begins in 1987, when Blumenthal first met Bill and Hillary Clinton. His chronicle of Clinton’s first presidential campaign and first term draws on his experiences as confidant to both the President and the First Lady, and is enriched with previously unpublished revelations about both. This remarkable personal interpretation goes far in explaining the polarizing nature of Clinton’s presence on the national scene. The narrative of Clinton’s second term is even more dramatic. Blumenthal takes special note of the battle that was waged within the media between the President’s detractors and defenders, which he expands into a vivid picture of Washington society torn apart by warring factions. But he does not neglect the wars fought on other fronts—in Kosovo, against Congress, and for economic prosperity. His remarkable book ends with the inside story of the fight to elect Al Gore in 2000 and extend the legacy of the Clinton-Gore Administration.Every page of this unrivaled, authoritative book, with its intimate insights into Clinton’s personality and politics, attests to Blumenthal’s literary skill, profound understanding of politics, and unique perspective on crucial events of our recent past. The Clinton Wars is a lasting contribution to American history.