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The War Lovers: Book summary and reviews of The War Lovers by Evan Thomas

The War Lovers

Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898

by Evan Thomas

The War Lovers by Evan Thomas X
The War Lovers by Evan Thomas
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Book Summary

On February 15th, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. That the explosion was almost certainly a self-inflicted accident, mattered not to warmongers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge. Along with newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, they fabricated evidence of a Spanish attack and, as they had long hoped, President McKinley soon declared war. That war would turn out to a bloody quagmire that would come at tremendous cost. It would transform Roosevelt into an American hero, but would shatter friendships among Roosevelt, Lodge and their close friends and former allies philosopher William James and the powerful Speaker of the House Thomas Reed.

A book with uncanny resonance with the recent invasion of Iraq, The War Lovers is a thrilling war story, as well as a powerful chronicle of friendships torn asunder by an invented enemy and a rush to battle.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Thomas’s thesis is bold and will undoubtedly be controversial, but his protagonists make for rich psychological portraiture, and the book serves as an illuminating case study in the sociocultural underpinnings of American military adventurism." - Publishers Weekly

"Thomas’ newest history shows the pro-war stances of three historical figures...all emblematic of a historical zeitgeist that Thomas well captures with his customary fluidity." - Booklist

"[T]his engaging book humanizes the conflict by also providing useful insights regarding the political and academic leaders of the time, allowing the war to resonate with later American adventures abroad and with the dilemma of reconciling American ideals with a new global world. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"What causes the eternal pull of war on men? It's one of history's most important questions. Evan Thomas provides fascinating insights in this gripping narrative of America's rush to war in 1898. With a colorful cast of characters led by Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst, it's a tale filled with lessons for today." - Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

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Author Information

Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas has been the Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek since 1991. He is the bestselling author of six works of nonfiction: Sea of Thunder, John Paul Jones, Robert Kennedy, The Very Best Men, The Man to See, and The Wise Men. He lives with his wife and children in Washington, D.C.

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