What We Are Reading Today: Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss

Updated 07 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss

  • It said the book “chronicles the wars of the US from the war of 1812 to the Vietnam War

Author Michael Beschloss has spent nearly 10 years in preparing Presidents of War for publication by reviewing diaries and declassified documents, which is quite apparent in the historical sweep and scope of the book. 

This historical narrative begins in 1807 with the assault on the USS Chesapeake and the measures taken by former President Thomas Jefferson to avoid war through the Bush administration and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

“This was a magnificent book that captured, not only history, but the humanity and struggles of our war presidents,” said a review in goodreads.com.

Presidents of War “is an extraordinary work, so extraordinary that it should be required reading for anyone seeking the presidency, vice presidency, a Senate seat, a congressional seat or any Cabinet positions in the US government,” said the review.

It said the book “chronicles the wars of the US from the war of 1812 to the Vietnam War. The author explores the reasons for the wars and often what the leaders did to circumvent Congress to enter the war without congressional approval.”


What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

Updated 26 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

This is the first definitive biography of Richard Avedon, a monumental photographer of the 20th century, from award-winning photography critic Philip Gefter.

“Balancing glamor with the gravitas of an artist’s genuine reach for worldy achievement — and not a little gossip — plus sixteen pages of photographs, What Becomes a Legend Most is an intimate window into Avedon’s fascinating world,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Dramatic, visionary, and remarkable, it pays tribute to Avedon’s role in the history of photography and fashion — and his legacy as one of the most consequential artists of his time,” the review added.

In his acclaimed portraits, Richard Avedon captured the iconic figures of the twentieth century in his starkly bold, intimately minimal, and forensic visual style. 

Concurrently, his work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue transformed the ideals of women’s fashion, femininity, and culture to become the defining look of an era. 

“As successful as Avedon became, he was plagued by doubts about his work not being taken seriously and tirelessly worked to make the critics look at his work as art,” said the review.