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One hundred and fifty years after its end, the American Civil War continues to reverberate in U.S. culture and politics. This is partly because of the sheer scale of the conflict and partly because the issues at its core—race relations and the nature and power of the federal government—remain central to American political life.
Cronin argues that the Anglo-American "special relationship" was key in stabilizing the world order after the dislocations of the 1970s and again after the end of the Cold War.
In Holzer’s remarkably readable and entertaining book, readers see a young Abraham Lincoln scheming to get his name in the New York press—and then, once in office, trying to manipulate and at times to control the press during the Civil War.
Mark Twain published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1884—a time not unlike the present, Levy argues, when authorities in the United States sought to strictly regulate the behavior of young people at the same time as they were dismantling racially progressive policies and laws.
McPherson, one of the most distinguished and eloquent historians of the Civil War, portrays Confederate President Jefferson Davis as a flawed man whose choices did little to improve the long odds that the Confederacy faced in its bid for secession.
Panetta’s candid memoir, spanning the Clinton and Obama administrations, offers a useful window into recent U.S. history.
Hill, an eminent U.S. diplomat, focuses on three episodes in this memoir: his work with the U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke during the Balkan crises in the Clinton administration, his attempt to reach a nuclear agreement with North Korea during President George W. Bush’s second term, and his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Iraq under President Barack Obama.
Johnson likes Ike, and he thinks you should, too. His book is an entertaining read, spiced with malicious sideswipes at Eisenhower’s left-wing intellectual critics.
The transformation of the vice-presidency in the last generation represents the most striking contemporary innovation in U.S. governance. Witcover has produced a series of capsule biographies of each person who has held the office, from John Adams to Joe Biden.
Founders’ Son reminds readers that the Civil War was a struggle over the meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Southern secessionists based their positions on a particular interpretation of what the founders meant to say, and it fell to Lincoln to combat those ideas.
Bunker puts the conflict between the colonists and the crown into perspective, demonstrating how it was just one part of a broader crisis in the evolving global economy.
Kotkin argues that an alliance between superwealthy elites in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street and what he calls the “clerisy” of upper-middle-class professionals is driving the American middle class proper to the brink.
Clyburn’s memoir is more than the account of one man’s life: it is a portrait of the South in a time of historic change.
Allen and Parnes, a pair of Washington-based journalists, take a broadly sympathetic look at Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, one that mostly aligns with Clinton’s own account.
Brands argues that an effective presidency requires a conscious strategic framework even when the pressure of events makes it impossible to adhere rigidly to an overall grand design.
In The Scorpion’s Sting, Oakes surveys the legal doctrines that enabled President Abraham Lincoln to envision and then enact the Emancipation Proclamation.
The collapse of mainline Protestant churches over the past five decades is one of the most important changes the United States has undergone in the contemporary era.
In O’Rourke’s view, the boomers, a frivolous group that can boast of few cultural or intellectual accomplishments, were the first post-historical generation.
Marsden returns to the almost forgotten work of U.S. public intellectuals of the late 1950s and early 1960s
Rizzo, formerly the top lawyer for the CIA, has written as close to a tell-all memoir as the CIA’s review board will permit.
In this analytic tour de force, Sestanovich offers a useful and often original look at the strategies of the last 12 American presidents.
White has written an unusual and important book that grounds its discussion of the United States’ contemporary budget woes in a history of American fiscal policy.
Whether it is Russian forces seizing Crimea, China making aggressive claims in its coastal waters, or Iran trying to dominate the Middle East, old-fashioned power plays are back. These revisionist powers never bought into the geopolitical settlement that followed the Cold War, and their ongoing attempts to overturn it will not be peaceful.
Gates offers some trenchant criticisms of the way executive and legislative policymakers have addressed the problems of the last eight years.
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