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Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989

Michael R. Beschloss

Retail Price: $28.00
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Format: Hardcover, 448pp.
ISBN: 9780684857053
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: May 8, 2007

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

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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About the Author

Michael Beschloss has been called "the nation's leading Presidential historian" by Newsweek. He has written eight books on American Presidents and is NBC News Presidential Historian, as well as contributor to PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons.

Table of Contents

1A Speedy Death To General Washington!1
2Kick This Treaty To Hell!10
3The Damnedest Liar18
4He May Retire With Undiminish'd Glory25
5Rivalries Irritated To Madness34
6Oh, That I Was A Soldier!39
7Rocks And Quicksands On All Sides47
8The Most Splendid Diamond In My Crown57
9I Will Kill It!65
10 Not A Man To Be Forced71
11I Was Born For The Storm77
12Who Would Have Had The Courage?86
13I Am Going To Be Beaten96
14Too Angelic For This Devilish Rebellion103
15A Well-Meaning Baboon113
16The Country Will Be Saved119
17I See Dynamite127
18Black Storm136
19A Rough-and-tumble Man143
20I Upset Them All150
21We Must Protect The Chief!157
22Gloom Personified166
23Salute Your Caesar?172
24We Have Avoided A Putsch182
25No People Except The Hebrews196
26The Right Place At The Right Time204
27How Could This Have Happened?211
28I Am Cyrus!221
29They Never Show Their Passion235
30go Get Him, Johnny Boy!244
31It's Going To Be A Civil War259
32A Man Has To Take A Stand272
33We Win And They Lose!280
34It Left Me Greatly Depressed289
35Don't Worry That I've Lost My Bearings302
36A Miracle Has Taken Place313
Epilogue: Presidential Courage327

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