Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, Jan 6, 2009 - Political Science - 304 pages
6 Reviews

Americans have long been defined by how they face adversity. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in how the nation’s chief executive has tackled myriad issues upon entering the White House. The ways that U.S. presidents handle the vast responsibilities of the Oval Office determine the fate of the nation---and, in many cases, the fate of the world.

In this fascinating narrative, presidential historian Mark Updegrove looks at eight U.S. presidents who inherited unprecedented crises immediately upon assuming the reigns of power. George Washington led a fragile and fledgling nation while defining the very role of the presidency. When Thomas Jefferson entered the White House, he faced a nation bitterly divided by a two-party schism far more severe than anything encountered today. John Tyler stepped into the office of the presidency during the constitutional crisis left by the first death of a sitting president. Abraham Lincoln inherited a divided nation on the brink of war. Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to quell America’s fears during the depths of the Great Depression. His successor, Harry S. Truman, was sworn in as commander in chief at the close of World War II, and John F. Kennedy stepped into the increasingly heated atmosphere of the cold war. In the wake of Watergate, the first unelected president, Gerald R. Ford, aimed to end America’s “long national nightmare.”

As the forty-fourth president takes office, Updegrove presents a timely look at these chief executives and the challenges they faced. In examining the ways in which presidents have addressed crises, Baptism by Fire illustrates the importance of character in leadership—and in the resilience of America itself. 


  

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Review: Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis

User Review  - Sondra - Goodreads

This book was ok if you leave out the incredibly biased authors prologue and epilogue. The main context of the book is interesting with only a few biased opinions thrown in here and there which I ... Read full review

Review: Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis

User Review  - Maryclaire Zampogna - Goodreads

I learned many things that I either forgot in history class or weren't informed of. This books brings attention to the second in command and what the results will be. It also tells of troubled waters as the new president learns from the old. It is a great update in the presidents. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
GEORGE WASHINGTON The First
19
THOMAS JEFFERSON We are all Republicans we are all Federalists
49
JOHN TYLER The Accidental President
77
ABRAHAM LINCOLN The Union is unbroken
95
FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT Nothing to Fear
131
HARRY S TRUMAN If you pray pray for me now
159
JOHN F KENNEDY The torch has been passed
185
GERALD R FORD Our long national nightmare is over
215
Epilogue
239
Notes
247
Bibliography
273
Index
279
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Mark K. Updegrove is the author of Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House, which won ForeWord Magazine’s Silver “Book of the Year” Award for Political Science. He served as publisher of Newsweek, Los Angeles manager of Time, and president of Time Canada, and has written for American Heritage, The Nation, Time, and Worth. Currently, he is an advertising executive and lives outside Charleston, South Carolina.

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