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Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 Paperback – Bargain Price, February 5, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Don't be afraid!" was George Washington's near-to-last utterance, to the worried doctor at his bedside. The essential founding father's counsel is understood by well-known historian Beschloss (The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany) to set an example for future presidents. Beschloss outlines how several occupants of the Oval Office—including Jackson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Reagan—combined courage with wisdom to change the future of the country, notwithstanding the slings and arrows they earned. Despite its unpopularity at the time, for instance, Reagan's "strong beliefs combined with his optimism" led him to pursue the policy to abolish nuclear weapons, which helped bring down the Soviet empire peacefully. None of the author's heroes were saints, but rather flawed men sustained by friends, families, conviction and religious faith. With contenders for 2008 already lining up, this well-timed book might, the author hopes, persuade some to take the kinds of "wise political risks that Presidents once did."Perhaps. But knowledgeable readers should look elsewhere for genuine historical insight. The author's broad brushstrokes necessarily restrict him to painting nuanced individuals and complex times in only basic primary colors, and there is little that has not been said before—in some cases, many times. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Over the past two decades, Michael Beschloss has become one of our most popular and prolific historians, recognizable from his many television appearances and bankable in the mold of David McCullough, Stephen Ambrose, Douglas Brinkley, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Previous books include Taking Charge (1997), an examination of LBJ's White House tapes, and The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany (2002). Critics are not as kind to Presidential Courage as to the author's previous efforts, commenting frequently on a rushed, uneven, and unnecessarily episodic prose style (what Mary Beth Norton deems "the written equivalent of sound bites"). Beschloss's thesis-that presidents are sometimes required to make unpopular decisions-forces on these profiles a sameness that, despite the author's research, reputation, and obvious passion for the subject, undermines the book's effectiveness.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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political science books was wonderful to know and provided
a better understanding why decisions were made by these
Presidents. The author explains the information in a narrative
form which is beneficial to comprehension. Buy it and learn
more about the Executive Branch and it personalities.