Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

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
Buy This Book

About this book

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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

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

This information about The War Lovers was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

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.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more history, current affairs and religion...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Love in the Big City
    by Sang Young Park
    Set in Seoul, South Korea, Love in the Big City is a warm, playful, emotionally rich novel that ...
  • Book Jacket
    Bewilderment
    by Richard Powers
    In 2019, Richard Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for The Overstory, a sprawling novel whose characters...
  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Scatterlings
    by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

    The debut novel of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa.

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.
Who Said...

Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.