Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and how They Changed America, 1789-1989
Simon & Schuster, 2007 - 430 pages
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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Pickering wrote friends that like “ every real patriot , ” he felt Adams deserved the
“ torments of the damned . ” Insinuating that some French secret agent had
blackmailed or bribed the President , Pickering wrote Hamilton , “ I beg you to be
One Senator wrote it was now “ a trial of strength between General Jackson and
the Bank . ” Van Buren wrote the President that he admired his courage against
the Bank : “ few men ” had “ more fortitude ” to “ resist the torrents of calumny .
With delight , he spied anthracite miners holding a banner : “ WE HONOR THE
MAN WHO SETTLED OUR STRIKE . ” Glowing from the day ' s festivities , he
proudly wrote Trevelyan that the revelers were " old friends with whom I had lived
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JennysBookBag.com - LibraryThing
For me to like any political book is amazing in itself. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - rmagahiz - 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 ... Read full review