{Read Best} Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989Author Michael R. Beschloss – Albawater.co

I had to read this for a book discussion, I am leading with a colleague, and I have to say I was so glad I read it It highlights 9 presidents and the times in their tenure when they had to make unpopular decisions It highlighted that our union has withstood times as bad as these and has survived Gave me a little bit of hope. Just finished reading Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss Beschloss looks at a series of unpopular presidential decisions that made the U.S stronger despite their controversy To the average reader, some examples will be well known, such as emancipation under Lincoln, or obscure, like Jackson s opposition to the Bank of the United States This readable book can be a very nice follow up to your average high school American history course, going deeper into controversial issues that are Just finished reading Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss Beschloss looks at a series of unpopular presidential decisions that made the U.S stronger despite their controversy To the average reader, some examples will be well known, such as emancipation under Lincoln, or obscure, like Jackson s opposition to the Bank of the United States This readable book can be a very nice follow up to your average high school American history course, going deeper into controversial issues that are either glossed over or ignored in the textbook Beschloss puts story back into history But the book is robbed of some of its coherence by its chapter layout Each president should have had his own section, with some follow up showing how the precedent in one administration can empower a president in the next Here Beschloss leaves the reader to connect those dots on his own Shorting the book of some analysis removes the risk of boring the average reader Beschloss is a proven able writer who hasthan met the challenge of maintaining an interesting narrative, so the lack of a few nut graphs is short sighted I sometimes wonder if this book was rushed to press.Beschloss treatment of presidential courage contains one undying constant that no matter how well a president tries to balance popularity with the demands of practical policy, there are times when policy must come first, even at the risk of unpopularity A courageous president will recognize this moment and seize it And so we have chapters on Washington, John Adams, Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Reagan We don t see chapters on Madison, van Buren, Buchanan, McKinley, Hoover or Carter Choosing a harder right over an easier wrong is not often seen in politics We pine for it, but punish presidents by voting for the other guy whenever we feel inconvenienced by a policy Beschloss tries to remind the reader why the harder right matters Sometimes it is validated by re election, but never truly appreciated until a president has been out of office for a while The critics are then forgotten while the president is remembered Beschloss earns three stars for his gentleman s effort But he could have earned his fourth easily I became so annoyed with this book that I finally had to put it down The short paragraphs were just too much Maybe Mr Beschloss thought he was on television, and needed to write the book as such, with neat little breathless soundbites Maybe he thinks readers are stupid and have gnat like attention spans,so our paragraphs need to be short Maybe he likes one sentence paragraphs Maybe his editor hates him, or us.The chapters about George Washington are great The one little tidbit about Marth I became so annoyed with this book that I finally had to put it down The short paragraphs were just too much Maybe Mr Beschloss thought he was on television, and needed to write the book as such, with neat little breathless soundbites Maybe he thinks readers are stupid and have gnat like attention spans,so our paragraphs need to be short Maybe he likes one sentence paragraphs Maybe his editor hates him, or us.The chapters about George Washington are great The one little tidbit about Martha Washington and her cat make her sound delightfully snarky But it s all downhill from there The subtitle Brave leaders and how they changed America Well, we all know how WE THINK George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and company changed America We picked up this book to read how and why Michael Beschloss thinks they changed America and how they were brave Maybe he was so afraid of offending some right or left wingnut that he totally took any of what he believes out of the narrative he was strangely absent from any of the book It s like a robot or a computer wrote the book, without any feelings one way or the other I would think someone as famous as Michael Beschloss has opinions about these presidents, and with a title and subtitle like that, you d think he s be anxious to share them Apparently not.Apparently, I m mostly alone is disliking this book But I most definitely did This book accounts the changes made by presidents in peace time and war from Washington to Reagan It is very thought provoking and makes you see each president a little differently than you may have before. This book surprised me Maybe it was the cover, maybe it was the blurbs But for some reason I feared it would be a shallow, light weight read Well I was wrong Michael Beschloss has written an incredibly entertaining, richly detailed history of six key presidents who served the nation in its first 200 years 1789 1989 Its the story of the slanders, insults and outright hatred they suffered while sticking to their guns and prevailing often against popular opinion while making risky decisions This book surprised me Maybe it was the cover, maybe it was the blurbs But for some reason I feared it would be a shallow, light weight read Well I was wrong Michael Beschloss has written an incredibly entertaining, richly detailed history of six key presidents who served the nation in its first 200 years 1789 1989 Its the story of the slanders, insults and outright hatred they suffered while sticking to their guns and prevailing often against popular opinion while making risky decisions decisions we judge as wise today Beschloss makes it clear that in all cases, things could have gone the other way, and it was these men who made the difference You ll learn things here that you never heard in high school history 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 foreign adversaries or both He makes a special effort to show how the later executives were inspired or influenced by the example of earlier ones, giving the book a sense of unity despite the broad range of historical periods covered I find his accounts to be mostly even handed on the political sp 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 foreign adversaries or both He makes a special effort to show how the later executives were inspired or influenced by the example of earlier ones, giving the book a sense of unity despite the broad range of historical periods covered I find his accounts to be mostly even handed on the political spectrum, though objective isn t quite the word I would use to characterize them.Such strong characters are easy to tell apart, and thinking about what might have happened if Adams served during the time of Lincoln or if one swapped Theodore and Franklin Roosevelts would make interesting speculations by enthusiasts of political history such as the ones who would most enjoy this book Such readers would naturally be inclined to make comparisons between this book and other works covering the lives of those individuals who shaped history, not least of which the one John F Kennedy wrote,Profiles in Courage You can tell that Beschloss is aware of that famous work because he mentions it explicitly in the Kennedy section.Drawing from the original documents and the accounts of eyewitnesses, he further fleshes out the inner workings of the Presidency by describing the influences of Cabinet members, financiers, First Ladies, and even celebrities I would like to leaf through the hardcopy version of this book because of the way I suspect much of that might have had to be cut for this abridgment, though the one cameo appearance by Richard Nixon as ex president does not go missing, fortunately And as for the concluding section on how Ronald Reagan brought about an end to the Cold War, it is clear to me how much of a debt that man owes to his collaborator adversary Mikhail Gorbachev for cementing his place in history Not all the stories truly demonstrate courage, and their inclusion seems arbitrary The writing style is annoying and a huge detriment to the material He almost writes as if he s tweeting Every sentence seems to be a new paragraph.And they re not always connected in a logical way For better presidential writing, turn to Gibbs and Duffy in The Presidents Club. recommended on APUS history listservdoesn t look like it will be a good selection for AP US or LSN or AP Govdisappointingwriting style is choppy, tidbits of historical information scattered about that don t seem to support his argument that a particular president was courageous From the author Newsweek called the nations leading presidential historian comes an inspiring narrative chronicling the crucial moments when a courageous president has dramatically changed the future of the United States of full color photos Certainly illuminating, with well chosen areas of discussion However, all the anecdotes felt a tad shallow.