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American Caesars: Lives of the U.S. Presidents—from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush
Nigel Hamilton

9780300169287 Retail Price: $35.00
LS Price: $23.80
You Save: $11.20 (32%)

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Format: Hardcover, 624pp.
ISBN: 9780300169287
Publisher: Yale University Press
Pub. Date: September 7, 2010

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Modeled on one of the most famous histories of ancient Rome (The Twelve Caesars), Nigel Hamilton’s new book, American Caesars, looks afresh at the lives and careers of the twelve leaders of the American empire since World War II, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush.

President by president, Hamilton relates and examines the presidents’ unique characters, their paths to Pennsylvania Avenue, their effectiveness as global leaders, and their lessons in governance, both good and bad. With uncompromising candor he looks at how these powerful men responded to the challenges that defined their presidencies—FDR’s role as a war leader, Harry Truman’s decision to mount a Berlin Airlift rather than pursue military confrontation with the Soviets, Lyndon Johnson’s undertaking of controversial Civil Rights legislation and his disastrous war in Vietnam, Jimmy Carter’s handling of the Iran hostage crisis, George H. W. Bush’s effectiveness in guiding the world during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and his son’s fateful invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other salient episodes in modern American history. In the Suetonian manner, Hamilton also looks at the presidents’ private lives—some noble, some flawed, some deeply moving.

In this essential book for our times, Hamilton strips away myths and wishful thinking to record our most recent presidents as they really were: leaders guiding the fortunes of an unruly empire, on a world stage. In its scope, clarity, readability, and empathy, American Caesars is destined to become a modern classic.


"A delight of a summer book: history for the beach, politics for the deckchair, and waspish entertainment come rain or shine."
—London Guardian

"An outstanding book. . . . A commanding study on the nature of personal authority and the presidency."
—Irish Times

"Enthralling . . . [Hamilton] succeeds brilliantly, . . . offering bracingly clear, if necessarily digested, accounts of the main global events that occurred from the onset of World War Two to our own time."
—Irish Independent

"Provocative, stimulating, infuriating, and readable history."
—Herald Scotland

"An impressive gallop through eighty years of U.S. history."
—Literary Review

"Hamilton does a superb job of getting at [the presidents''] essences. . . . Anyone who enjoys reading history, and loves to look behind the curtain to see the wizards at work, will find this book well worth reading."
—Internet Review of Books

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About the Author

Nigel Hamilton is one of Britain’s most distinguished biographers: a recipient of the Whitbread Prize for Biography and the Templer Medal for Military History. His books include The Brothers Mann; his official three-volume life of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Monty; his two-volume biography Bill Clinton; and his bestselling JFK: Reckless Youth, which was made into an ABC miniseries. He has also published two works on the history and practice of biography. Hamilton became the first professor of biography in Britain, at De Montfort University, and he currently lives in the United States, where he is senior fellow in the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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