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Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 Paperback – February 5, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I found the book to be interesting, entertaining, and accessible (not bogged down in excessive complexities) and a quick read. The book is more focused on reporting historical incidents/anecdotes than on any in-depth analysis of specific events, but given that the book covers presidents from 1789 to 1989 in 330 pages, this should not be a surprise. If you are looking for in-depth analysis, look elsewhere. If you would like a nice overview of presidents and selected historical events, then I would recommend this book. The criticism of another that the book is "pop history" may be true, but that may not be a bad thing if it gets more people to read a history book.
As I currently live in Philadelphia, I found the section on Andrew Jackson and his fight with the Second Bank of Philadelphia particularly interesting. The Second Bank building still stands and is an attractive piece of the city's historical architecture. It's nice to know a little more of the history that goes along with the building, and I will look at the building differently as I pass it on the street.
In this book he deals with several crisis periods in presidential history. He tells the story clearly and then incisively draws meaning for the larger American Story. Whether it is Washington's struggle over the Jay Treaty, Adams balancing the place of England and France in American life or FDR supporting England when public opinionwas decidedly isolationist, Beschloss helps us understand our own story. He places a great deal of emphasis on courage, yet makes it clear that courage is different from stubbornness or going it alone. Courage involves wisdom, a moral compass and can only be differentiated for stubborness with the gift of time-perhaps a wise thing for people on both sides of our current political landscape to remember
I strongly recommend this book. It is an excellent addition to the study of the presidiency and an excellent discussion of leadership for both the public and private sector.
Many academicians abhor that which addresses their field of expertise, but is written at the level of ordinary folks like me. Michael Beschloss is a great historian who is able to extrapolate the key components of his research and present them in a manner easily comprehensible to people like myself. I believe that books like Presidential Courage are not only fun to read, but constitute an important public service.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this book for my son for his required Summer reading for his Junior year in high school. It is exactly what he wanted and he is very happy with it.Published 18 hours ago by Carol Sheehan
Glad I read this. Good insight into some amazing decisions made under very adverse conditionsPublished 9 days ago by William A. Shachtman MD
Presidential Courage is an excellent book on some of the great Presidents of US and about the impact of their courageous decision on the history of this country and on the world. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
'Presidential Courage', by Michael Beschloss, is written as a series of vignettes, in chronological order, about critical events or even crises for different presidents. Read morePublished 14 months ago by dave ferree
Interesting in that it shows some of the strong and varying opinions that surround important decisions. Read morePublished 14 months ago by John Butler
This was an interesting look at our presidents for it told you about facts that were lesser known not just what you learned in US History in high school.Published 15 months ago by criticalconsumer
Excellent book with thought provoking vignettes from American history. It gave mea different picture of the President's whose actions are recounted. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mike R
Political courage is the essence of this book about presidents both recent & historical. Beginning w/ Washington, Bechloss describes presidential dilemmas which are not the usual... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Coffee Lover