Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 (Google eBook)
From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Conquerors
Michael Beschloss has brought us a brilliantly readable and inspiring saga about crucial times in America's history when a courageous President dramatically changed the future of the United States.
With surprising new sources and a dazzling command of history and human character, Beschloss brings to life these flawed, complex men -- and their wives, families, friends and foes. Never have we had a more intimate, behind-the-scenes view of Presidents coping with the supreme dilemmas of their lives.
You will be in the room with the private George Washington, braving threats of impeachment and assassination to make peace with England. John Adams, incurring his party's "unrelenting hatred" by refusing to fight France and warning his enemies, "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war." Andrew Jackson, in a death struggle against the corrupt Bank of the United States. Abraham Lincoln, risking his Presidency to insist that slaves be freed.
Beschloss also shows us Theodore Roosevelt, taunting J. P. Morgan and the Wall Street leaders who dominated his party. Franklin Roosevelt, defying the isolationists -- and maybe the law -- to stop Adolf Hitler. Harry Truman, risking a walkout by top officials to recognize a Jewish state. John Kennedy, the belated champion of civil rights, complaining that he has cost himself a second term. And finally, two hundred years after Washington, Ronald Reagan, irking some of his oldest backers to seek an end to the Cold War.
As Beschloss shows in this gripping and important book, none of these Presidents was eager to incur ridicule, vilification or threats of political destruction and even assassination. But in the end, bolstered by friends and family, hidden private beliefs and, sometimes, religious faith, each ultimately proved himself to be, in Andrew Jackson's words, "born for the storm."
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
My review is for the abridged audiobook version read by the author. The author presents engaging profiles of nine American Presidents who persevered despite stiff opposition from either domestic or foreign adversaries (or both). He makes a special effort to show how the later executives were inspired or influenced by the example of earlier ones, giving the book a sense of unity despite the broad range of historical periods covered. I find his accounts to be mostly even-handed on the political spectrum, though "objective" isn't quite the word I would use to characterize them. Such strong characters are easy to tell apart, and thinking about what might have happened if Adams served during the time of Lincoln or if one swapped Theodore and Franklin Roosevelts would make interesting speculations by enthusiasts of political history such as the ones who would most enjoy this book. Such readers would naturally be inclined to make comparisons between this book and other works covering the lives of those individuals who shaped history, not least of which the one John F. Kennedy wrote, Profiles in Courage. You can tell that Beschloss is aware of that famous work because he mentions it explicitly in the Kennedy section. Drawing from the original documents and the accounts of eyewitnesses, he further fleshes out the inner workings of the Presidency by describing the influences of Cabinet members, financiers, First Ladies, and even celebrities. I would like to leaf through the hardcopy version of this book because of the way I suspect much of that might have had to be cut for this abridgment, though the one cameo appearance by Richard Nixon as ex-president does not go missing, fortunately. And as for the concluding section on how Ronald Reagan brought about an end to the Cold War, it is clear to me how much of a debt that man owes to his collaborator/adversary Mikhail Gorbachev for cementing his place in history.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I heard Beschloss speak recently at a local college, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He sounded just like his book: anecdotal, marginally interesting, uninspired. If you're a serious student of history, you don't need this book on your shelf. For public school students, it could be an appealing way to start learning about presidential history. Read more on my blog: http://barleyliterate.blogspot.com/
the right place at the right time
who would have had the courage?
Chapter Eighteen black storm
its going to be a civil war
Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels: Michael Beschloss ...
Michael Beschloss' latest book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989, is a worthwhile read. ...
markdaniels.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 07/ michael-beschloss-presidential-courage.html
Online newshour: Conversation | Book Details Presidential Courage ...
Historian Michael Beschloss discusses his book, "Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989," which delves into how ...
www.pbs.org/ newshour/ bb/ white_house/ jan-june07/ beschloss_05-17.html
Michael Beschloss Discusses Presidential Courage at the National ...
... author and presidential historian Michael Beschloss to discuss his new book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989. ...
www.constitutioncenter.org/ PressRoom/ PressReleases/ 2007_05_01_17578.shtml
Bostonist: Michael Beschloss on Presidential Courage
Michael Beschloss will read from Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19, ...
bostonist.com/ 2007/ 06/ 18/ michael_beschloss_on_presidential_courage.php
Michael Beschloss: Presidential Courage - FORA.tv
... including most recently Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989. Considered one of the nation's leading Presidential ...
fora.tv/ 2007/ 06/ 05/ Michael_Beschloss_Presidential_Courage
Historian Michael Beschloss offers insights on 'Defining ...
Historian Michael Beschloss offers insights on 'Defining Presidential Courage' Contact: Rob Eisele, 816-415-7574 January 14, 2008 ...
www.jewell.edu/ william_jewell/ gen/ william_and_jewell_generated_pages/ Historian_Michael_Beschloss_offers_insights_on_...
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Michael Beschloss Speaks On Presidential Courage
Beschloss came to speak on his latest book — Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989. If another author had written such ...
Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog @ leadershipnow: Presidential Courage
Presidential Courage. Presidential Courage. Michael Beschloss has written a series of stories in Presidential Courage about how nine American Presidents ...
www.leadershipnow.com/ leadingblog/ 2007/ 05/ presidential_courage.html
‘Presidential Courage’ - New York Times
As the public tempest had swelled, some wanted Washington impeached. Cartoons showed the President being marched to a guillotine.
www.nytimes.com/ 2007/ 05/ 20/ books/ chapters/ 0520-1st-besc.html?pagewanted=all