War and the American Presidency by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

By Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

In a e-book that brings a magisterial command of historical past to the main pressing of latest questions, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., explores the battle in Iraq, the presidency, and the way forward for democracy. Describing unilateralism as "the oldest doctrine in American history," Schlesinger however warns of the hazards posed through the deadly flip in U.S. coverage from deterrence and containment to preventive warfare. He writes powerfully approximately George W. Bush's growth of presidential strength, reminding us however of our country's distinct legacy of patriotism via dissent in wartime. And in a brand new bankruptcy written in particular for the paperback variation, he examines the old position of faith in American politics as a heritage for an review of Bush's faith-based presidency.

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But at the time it was no laughing matter. The Scottish travel writer Wil­ liam Lithgow, a contemporary of Galileo’s, described what it was like to be racked by the Inquisition: As the levers bent forward, the main force of my knees against the two planks burst asunder the sinews of my hams, and the lids of my knees were crushed. My eyes began to startle, my mouth to foam and froth, and my teeth to chatter like the doubling of a drummer’s sticks. My lips were shiv­ ering, my groans were vehement, and blood sprang from my arms, broken sinews, hands, and knees.

In Titus Andronicus, two men kill another man, rape his bride, cut out her tongue, and amputate her hands. Her father kills the rapists, cooks them in a pie, and feeds them to 20 THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE their mother, whom he then kills before killing his own daughter for having gotten raped in the first place; then he is killed, and his killer is killed. Entertainment written for children was no less grisly. In 1815 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published a compendium of old folktales that had gradually been adapted for children.

For now, prehistoric remains convey the distinct impression that The Past is a place where a person had a high chance of coming to bodily harm. HOMERIC GREECE Our understanding of prehistoric violence depends on the happenstance of which bodies were accidentally embalmed or fossilized, and so it must be rad­ ically incomplete. But once written language began to spread, ancient people left us with better information about how they conducted their affairs. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are considered the first great works of Western literature, and occupy the top slots in many guides to cultural literacy.

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