The General Vs the President

The General Vs  the President
Author: H. W. Brands
Pages: 437
ISBN: 9781101912171
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"From master storyteller and historian H.W. Brands, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II. At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, 'The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has.' This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Heir to a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and increasing tension with the Soviet Union, on no issue was the path ahead clear and easy. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The lessons he drew from World War II were absolute: appeasement leads to disaster and a showdown with the communists was inevitable--the sooner the better. In the nuclear era, when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era"--

The General Vs the President

The General Vs  the President
Author: World Watch Media
Pages: 52
ISBN: 1541138821
Available:
Release: 2016-12-23
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The General vs. the PresidentGeneral MacArthur vs. President TrumanBook Preview:Truman relieving General Douglas MacArthur caused a bit of an uproar amongst the American public. His motives were to limit the conflict in Korea, resulting in his decision to remove MacArthur. General MacArthur was full of ego and flair, and issues between the two were inevitable. When the Korean war first began in June of 1950, MacArthur had fantastic military strategies and maneuvers up his sleeve. He used these to keep South Korea protected from communist invaders in North Korea. MacArthur urged to enact a policy to defeat North Korean forces entirely. Truman agreed, but did so warily, as he was aware the People's Republic of China may feel threatened and join the fight. During October of 1950, MacArthur assured Truman that the Chinese wouldn't interfere. Directly afterwards, in November and December, Chinese troops burst into the American lines, hundreds of thousands of soldiers preventing American forces from entering North Korea. MacArthur requested the use of bombs against communist China, as well as to utilize Taiwanese forces to fight the People's Republic of China. When Truman denied him these requests, their public disagreement began.

The Presidents vs the Press

The Presidents vs  the Press
Author: Harold Holzer
Pages: 576
ISBN: 9781524745271
Available:
Release: 2020-08-25
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An award-winning presidential historian offers an authoritative account of American presidents' attacks on our freedom of the press. “The FAKE NEWS media,” Donald Trump has tweeted, “is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Has our free press ever faced as great a threat? Perhaps not—but the tension between presidents and journalists is as old as the republic itself. Every president has been convinced of his own honesty and transparency; every reporter who has covered the White House beat has believed with equal fervency that his or her journalistic rigor protects the country from danger. Our first president, George Washington, was also the first to grouse about his treatment in the newspapers, although he kept his complaints private. Subsequent chiefs like John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Barack Obama were not so reticent, going so far as to wield executive power to overturn press freedoms, and even to prosecute journalists. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to actively manage the stable of reporters who followed him, doling out information, steering coverage, and squashing stories that interfered with his agenda. It was a strategy that galvanized TR’s public support, but the lesson was lost on Woodrow Wilson, who never accepted reporters into his inner circle. Franklin Roosevelt transformed media relations forever, holding more than a thousand presidential press conferences and harnessing the new power of radio, at times bypassing the press altogether. John F. Kennedy excelled on television and charmed reporters to hide his personal life, while Richard Nixon was the first to cast the press as a public enemy. From the days of newsprint and pamphlets to the rise of Facebook and Twitter, each president has harnessed the media, whether intentional or not, to imprint his own character on the office. In this remarkable new history, acclaimed scholar Harold Holzer examines the dual rise of the American presidency and the media that shaped it. From Washington to Trump, he chronicles the disputes and distrust between these core institutions that define the United States of America, revealing that the essence of their confrontation is built into the fabric of the nation.

Traitor to His Class

Traitor to His Class
Author: H. W. Brands
Pages: 888
ISBN: 9780307277947
Available:
Release: 2009
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt examines his political leadership in a dark time of Depression and war, his championship of the poor, his revolutionary New Deal legislation, and his legacy for the future.

The Plot Against the President

The Plot Against the President
Author: Lee Smith
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781546085010
Available:
Release: 2019-10-29
Editor: Center Street
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Investigative journalist Lee Smith uses his unprecedented access to Congressman Devin Nunes, former head of the House Intelligence Committee, to expose the deep state operation against the president -- and the American people. Investigative journalist Lee Smith's The Plot Against the Presidenttells the story of how Congressman Devin Nunes uncovered the operation to bring down the commander-in-chief. While popular opinion holds that Russia subverted democratic processes during the 2016 elections, the real damage was done not by Moscow or any other foreign actor. Rather, this was a slow-moving coup engineered by a coterie of the American elite, the "deep state," targeting not only the president, but also the rest of the country. The plot officially began July 31, 2016 with the counterintelligence investigation that the FBI opened to probe Russian infiltration of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. But the bureau never followed any Russians. In fact, it was an operation to sabotage Trump, the candidate, then president-elect, and finally the presidency. The conspirators included political operatives, law enforcement and intelligence officials, and the press. The plot was uncovered by Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and his investigative team. They understood that the target of the operation wasn't just Trump, but rather the institutions that sustain our republic. A country where operatives use the intelligence and security services to protect their privileges by spying on Americans, coordinating with the press, and using extra-constitutional means to undermine an election then undo a presidency is more like the third world than the republic envisioned by the founding fathers. Without Nunes and his team, the plot against the president -- and against the country -- never would have been revealed. Told from the perspective of Nunes and his crack investigators -- men and women who banded together to do the right thing at a crucial moment for our democracy -- the story of the biggest political scandal in a generation reads like a great detective novel, feels like a classic cowboy movie. The congressman from the cattle capital of California really did fight corruption in Washington. Devin Nunes took on the "deep state."

T R

T R
Author: H. W. Brands
Pages: 928
ISBN: 9781541618039
Available:
Release: 2019-07-23
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author, an acclaimed biography of President Teddy Roosevelt Lauded as "a rip-roaring life" (Wall Street Journal), TR is a magisterial biography of Theodore Roosevelt by bestselling author H.W. Brands. In his time, there was no more popular national figure than Roosevelt. It was not just the energy he brought to every political office he held or his unshakable moral convictions that made him so popular, or even his status as a bonafide war hero. Most important, Theodore Roosevelt was loved by the people because this scion of a privileged New York family loved America and Americans. And yet, according to Brands, if we look at the private Roosevelt without blinders, we see a man whose great public strengths hid enormous personal deficiencies; he was uncompromising, self-involved, and a highly imperfect brother, husband, and father. Beautifully written, and powerfully moved by its subject, TR is the classic biography of one of America's greatest and most complex leaders.

Lincoln and McClellan

Lincoln and McClellan
Author: John C. Waugh
Pages: 272
ISBN: 0230106765
Available:
Release: 2010-05-11
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

There was no more remarkable pair in the Civil War than Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan. At only 35 years old, McClellan commanded the Ohio troops early in the war, and won skirmishes for the Union in western Virginia. After the disastrous Union defeat at Bull Run in the summer of 1861, Lincoln sent word for McClellan to come to Washington, and soon elevated him to commander-in-chief of the Union army. But in the late summer and fall of 1861, things took a turn for the worst. Meticulous in his planning and preparations, McClellan began to delay attacking the enemy and developed a penchant for vastly overestimating the Confederate forces he faced. All of this hampered his ability to lead an aggressive force in a fast-moving battlefield environment. Finally losing his patience, Lincoln was famously quoted as saying, "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time." Lincoln and McClellan takes an in-depth look at this fascinating relationship, from the early days of the Civil War to the 1864 presidential election when McClellan ran against Lincoln on an anti-war platform and lost. Here, award-winning author John C. Waugh weaves a tale of hubris, paranoia, failure, and triumph, illuminating as never before this unique and complicated alliance.

The Bomb

The Bomb
Author: Fred Kaplan
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781982107307
Available:
Release: 2021-02-02
Editor: Simon & Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the author of the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war—and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises—from Truman to Trump. Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as “a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter,” takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today. Kaplan’s historical research and deep reporting will stand as the permanent record of politics. Discussing theories that have dominated nightmare scenarios from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kaplan presents the unthinkable in terms of mass destruction and demonstrates how the nuclear war reality will not go away, regardless of the dire consequences.

Call Sign Chaos

Call Sign Chaos
Author: Jim Mattis,Bing West
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780812986631
Available:
Release: 2021-03-02
Editor: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis--the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time--and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine. "A four-star general's five-star memoir."--The Wall Street Journal Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis's storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas--and short-sighted thinking--now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars. Mattis divides his book into three parts: Direct Leadership, Executive Leadership, and Strategic Leadership. In the first part, Mattis recalls his early experiences leading Marines into battle, when he knew his troops as well as his own brothers. In the second part, he explores what it means to command thousands of troops and how to adapt your leadership style to ensure your intent is understood by your most junior troops so that they can own their mission. In the third part, Mattis describes the challenges and techniques of leadership at the strategic level, where military leaders reconcile war's grim realities with political leaders' human aspirations, where complexity reigns and the consequences of imprudence are severe, even catastrophic. Call Sign Chaos is a memoir of a life of warfighting and lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey about learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy, one relevant to us all.

The Accidental President

The Accidental President
Author: A. J. Baime
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780544618480
Available:
Release: 2017-10-24
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“[A] well-judged and hugely readable book . . . few are as entertaining.”—Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times “A. J. Baime is a master. His reporting and storytelling are woven to hypnotic effect. This is history and humanity in lush, vivid color.”—Doug Stanton, author of The Odyssey of Echo Company Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get pushed into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings in Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation in Europe, the Potsdam Conference, the controversial decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of imperial Japan, and finally, the end of World War II and the rise of the Cold War. No other president had ever faced so much in such a short period of time. The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during a tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher.

A Very Stable Genius

A Very Stable Genius
Author: Philip Rucker,Carol Leonnig
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9781984877505
Available:
Release: 2020-01-21
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The instant #1 bestseller. “This taut and terrifying book is among the most closely observed accounts of Donald J. Trump’s shambolic tenure in office to date." - Dwight Garner, The New York Times Washington Post national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig and White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, both Pulitzer Prize winners, provide the definitive insider narrative of Donald Trump’s presidency “I alone can fix it.” So proclaimed Donald J. Trump on July 21, 2016, accepting the Republican presidential nomination and promising to restore what he described as a fallen nation. Yet as he undertook the actual work of the commander in chief, it became nearly impossible to see beyond the daily chaos of scandal, investigation, and constant bluster. In fact, there were patterns to his behavior and that of his associates. The universal value of the Trump administration was loyalty—not to the country, but to the president himself—and Trump’s North Star was always the perpetuation of his own power. With deep and unmatched sources throughout Washington, D.C., Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker reveal the forty-fifth president up close. Here, for the first time, certain officials who felt honor-bound not to divulge what they witnessed in positions of trust tell the truth for the benefit of history. A peerless and gripping narrative, A Very Stable Genius not only reveals President Trump at his most unvarnished but shows how he tested the strength of America’s democracy and its common heart as a nation.

Reagan

Reagan
Author: H. W. Brands
Pages: 805
ISBN: 9780307951144
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From master storyteller and New York Times bestselling Historian H. W. Brands comes the definitive biography of a visionary and transformative president In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan's personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today. Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan's administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan's remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned. Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.

Rodham

Rodham
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780399590931
Available:
Release: 2021-06
Editor: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of American Wife and Eligible . . . He proposed. She said no. And it changed her life forever. "A deviously clever what if."--O: The Oprah Magazine "Immersive, escapist."--Good Morning America "Ingenious."--The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker * NPR * The Washington Post * Marie Claire * Cosmopolitan (UK) * Town & Country * New York Post In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Life magazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she's attending Yale Law School, and she's on the forefront of student activism and the women's rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton. A handsome, charismatic southerner and fellow law student, Bill is already planning his political career. In each other, the two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced. In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times; although she said no more than once, as we all know, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton. But in Curtis Sittenfeld's powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about the prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail--one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life. Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Curtis Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel.

Dreams of El Dorado

Dreams of El Dorado
Author: H. W. Brands
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9781541672536
Available:
Release: 2019-10-22
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Epic in its scale, fearless in its scope" (Hampton Sides), this masterfully told account of the American West from a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist sets a new standard as it sweeps from the California Gold Rush and beyond. In Dreams of El Dorado, H. W. Brands tells the thrilling, panoramic story of the settling of the American West. He takes us from John Jacob Astor's fur trading outpost in Oregon to the Texas Revolution, from the California gold rush to the Oklahoma land rush. He shows how the migrants' dreams drove them to feats of courage and perseverance that put their stay-at-home cousins to shame-and how those same dreams also drove them to outrageous acts of violence against indigenous peoples and one another. The West was where riches would reward the miner's persistence, the cattleman's courage, the railroad man's enterprise; but El Dorado was at least as elusive in the West as it ever was in the East. Balanced, authoritative, and masterfully told, Dreams of El Dorado sets a new standard for histories of the American West.

Donald Trump v The United States

Donald Trump v  The United States
Author: Michael S. Schmidt
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781984854674
Available:
Release: 2020-09-01
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With unparalleled reporting, a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter continues to break news about the most important political story of our lives as he chronicles the clash between a president and the officials of his own government who tried to stop him. In the early days of the Trump presidency, the people who work in the institutions that make America America saw Trump up close in the Oval Office and became convinced that they had to stand up to an unbound president. These officials faced a situation without parallel in American history: What do you do, and who do you call, if you are the only one standing between the president, his extraordinary powers, and the abyss? Michael S. Schmidt’s Donald Trump v. The United States tells the dramatic, high-stakes story of those who felt compelled to confront and try to contain the most powerful man in the world as he shredded norms and sought to expand his power. Schmidt has broken many of the major stories of the Trump era, from the news of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account to the report on former FBI director James Comey’s contemporaneous memos of conversations with Trump that led directly to the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Now he takes us inside the defining events of the presidency, chronicles them up close, and records the clash between an increasingly emboldened president and those around him, who find themselves trying to thwart the president they had pledged to serve, unsure whether he is acting in the interest of the country, his ego, his family business, or Russia. Through their eyes and ears, we observe an epic struggle. Drawing on secret FBI and White House documents and confidential sources inside federal law enforcement and the West Wing, Donald Trump v. The United States is vital journalism, recording the shocking reality of a presidency like no other, a riveting contemporary history, and a lasting account of just how fragile and vulnerable the institutions of American democracy really are.

Heirs of the Founders

Heirs of the Founders
Author: H. W. Brands
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780525433903
Available:
Release: 2019-10
Editor: Anchor
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina's John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery. Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution- its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery. They wrestled with these issues for four decades, arguing bitterly and hammering out political compromises that held the Union together, but only just. Then, in 1850, when California moved to join the Union as a free state, "the immortal trio" had one last chance to save the country from the real risk of civil war. But, by that point, they had never been further apart. Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.

The Hardest Job in the World

The Hardest Job in the World
Author: John Dickerson
Pages: 672
ISBN: 9781984854520
Available:
Release: 2020-06-16
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the veteran political journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent, a deep dive into the history, evolution, and current state of the American presidency, and how we can make the job less impossible and more productive—featuring a new post-2020–election epilogue “This is a great gift to our sense of the actual presidency, a primer on leadership.”—Ken Burns Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You’re expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you’re also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What’s on your to-do list? Where would you even start? What shocks aren’t you thinking about? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. “The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors,” writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to “the little brother who can’t keep up.” In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson writes about presidents in history such a Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower, and and in contemporary times, from LBJ and Reagan and Bush, Obama, and Trump, to show how a complex job has been done, and why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the president can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House “the crown jewel in the American penal system”? The presidency is a job of surprises with high stakes, requiring vision, management skill, and an even temperament. Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office. As Dickerson writes, “Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be.”

The Making of a Catholic President

The Making of a Catholic President
Author: Shaun Casey
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780199705610
Available:
Release: 2009-01-23
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The 1960 presidential election, won ultimately by John F. Kennedy, was one of the closest and most contentious in American history. The country had never elected a Roman Catholic president, and the last time a Catholic had been nominated--New York Governor Al Smith in 1928--he was routed in the general election. From the outset, Kennedy saw the religion issue as the single most important obstacle on his road to the White House. He was acutely aware of, and deeply frustrated by, the possibility that his personal religious beliefs could keep him out of the White House. In The Making of a Catholic President, Shaun Casey tells the fascinating story of how the Kennedy campaign transformed the "religion question" from a liability into an asset, making him the first (and still only) Catholic president. Drawing on extensive archival research, including many never-before-seen documents, Casey takes us inside the campaign to show Kennedy's chief advisors--Ted Sorensen, John Kenneth Galbraith, Archibald Cox--grappling with the staunch opposition to the candidate's Catholicism. Casey also reveals, for the first time, many of the Nixon campaign's efforts to tap in to anti-Catholic sentiment, with the aid of Billy Graham and the National Association of Evangelicals, among others. The alliance between conservative Protestants and the Nixon campaign, he shows, laid the groundwork for the rise of the Religious Right. This book will shed light on one of the most talked-about elections in American history, as well as on the vexed relationship between religion and politics more generally. With clear relevance to our own political situation--where politicians' religious beliefs seem more important and more volatile than ever--The Making of a Catholic President offers rare insights into one of the most extraordinary presidential campaigns in American history.

Duty

Duty
Author: Robert M. Gates
Pages: 640
ISBN: 9780307959485
Available:
Release: 2014-01-14
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he’d long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

The Room Where It Happened

The Room Where It Happened
Author: John Bolton
Pages: 592
ISBN: 9781982148058
Available:
Release: 2020-06-23
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

As President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton spent many of his 453 days in the room where it happened, and the facts speak for themselves. The result is a White House memoir that is the most comprehensive and substantial account of the Trump Administration, and one of the few to date by a top-level official. With almost daily access to the President, John Bolton has produced a precise rendering of his days in and around the Oval Office. What Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes. In fact, he argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy—and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them. He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government. In Bolton’s telling, all this helped put Trump on the bizarre road to impeachment. “The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place. Bolton’s account starts with his long march to the West Wing as Trump and others woo him for the National Security job. The minute he lands, he has to deal with Syria’s chemical attack on the city of Douma, and the crises after that never stop. As he writes in the opening pages, “If you don’t like turmoil, uncertainty, and risk—all the while being constantly overwhelmed with information, decisions to be made, and sheer amount of work—and enlivened by international and domestic personality and ego conflicts beyond description, try something else.” The turmoil, conflicts, and egos are all there—from the upheaval in Venezuela, to the erratic and manipulative moves of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to the showdowns at the G7 summits, the calculated warmongering by Iran, the crazy plan to bring the Taliban to Camp David, and the placating of an authoritarian China that ultimately exposed the world to its lethal lies. But this seasoned public servant also has a great eye for the Washington inside game, and his story is full of wit and wry humor about how he saw it played.