Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. War and the American Presidency. New York: W. W. Norton Co., 2004 [Book Review]

Reason Papers 30:121-128 (2008)
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This book collects and focuses recent writings of Arthur Schlesinger on the themes of its title. In its short Foreword and seven concise essays, the book aims to explore, in some contrast with the genre of “instant history,” the relationship between President George W. Bush’s Iraq adventure and the national past. This aim and the present work are deserving of wide attention, both because of the contemporary need to deal with the extended war in Iraq and because Americans, in particular, need to attend to their own history, if we are to avoid past mistakes and make the best use of our ongoing political traditions and institutions. In order to know better where we might go in the future, we need an adequate picture of where we have been in the past. Schlesinger invites us to debate the war, the Presidency, and their relation to the American past.

Author's Profile

H. G. Callaway
Temple University


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