Throughout American history, presidents have faced difficult choices–decisions that have had grave political and personal consequences. Will leadership prevail? Or will the office cede power to popular opinion? At these critical times, many of our presidents have chosen a path of genuine courage. They stood up for what they believed was right for the country and displayed tremendous character, which made them leaders of men.
With the indispensable contributions of Richard E. Neustadt– author of the seminal Presidential Power, former adviser to presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson, and founder of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government–Wallace has chosen nearly twenty notable acts of presidential courage in our nation’s history, including: George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion, Theodore Roosevelt and the Russo-Japanese War, Harry Truman and the Berlin Airlift, and George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
How and why did these men choose the hard way? What experiences from their civilian lives came to bear on their decisions? What forces shaped them? Who influenced them? Who didn’t? What gave them their inner fortitude?
Using this Socratic approach, Wallace brings out the humanity of these power brokers and lets their personal histories shine through. The result is a completely involving and tremendously informative look at the presidents who’ve made defining choices for our nation in times of national uncertainty.
Just in time for the 2004 election, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage is a must read for every citizen who has lost his or her faith in our executive branch of government–a captivating and informative narrative of courage and determination in our nation’s presidential history.