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As Evan Thomas reveals in his rip-roaring history of those times, the hunger for war had begun years earlier. Depressed by the "closing" of the Western frontier and embracing theories of social Darwinism, a group of warmongers that included a young Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge agitated loudly and incessantly that the United States exert its influence across the seas. These hawks would transform American foreign policy and, when Teddy ascended to the presidency, commence with a devastating war without reason, concocted within the White House - a bloody conflict that would come at tremendous cost.
Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, The War Lovers is the story of six men at the center of a transforming event in U.S. history: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, McKinley, William James, and Thomas Reed, and confirms once more that Evan Thomas is a popular historian of the first rank.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Paul C. White on 08-17-10
A Rather Poor History
Thomas has produced a rather disappointing tome that fails to provide either good history or good biography of the key figures of the period. The history lacks sound context for placing events in historical perspective, and reeks more of revisionist muckraking than of useful chronicling. The biographical sketches of the main characters are just that - sketchy - lacking balance and completeness. The author is clearly riding a hobby horse, attempting to portray the U.S. as an imperialist state grabbing territory willy nilly. But his prejudices dominate any case that might be made, and his weak attempts to parallel events in the early part of the last decade are feeble at best. Last, but by no means least, the narrator for this volume is as bad as the author. His sarcasm and emotive reading come across as if he were reciting purple prose. This is a decidedly weak effort to illuminate an interesting and dynamic period in American history.
11 of 18 people found this review helpful
By Douglas on 08-18-16
History is Cyclic
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. As one who sees parallels in our history, it is apparent that the late 1890s and the 1990s are similar. I see links to imperialism regarding Cuba and other Spanish "possessions" and our current affairs. One critic saw this book as misrepresenting us as imp r realistic, but I must disagree. We did develop a taste for an empire and had mixed results of it. This book also makes me want to study Theodore Roosevelt in much more detail.