Book Review | The War Lovers

Title: The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898

Author: Evan Thomas

My Review:

Wow.  The War Lovers is just an amazingly well-written and well-researched book chronicling the turn of the 19th Century, politically and militarily.  This is a critical period in history, one which cemented America’s position on foreign policy for decades.

Teddy Roosevelt and the cast of characters — Henry Cabot Lodge and William Randolph Hearst among them — were among the most important people in the country, if not the world, in how they helped mold perceptions and attitudes to whip up Americans into a unified frenzy.  This frenzy drew on racism, xenophobia, nationalism — all the ingredients of a recipe to gain support for a war.  If the terms like expansionism, imperialism, jingoism, and manifest destiny mean anything to you, then you’ll eat this book up with a spoon.  If they don’t, then read this book.  You owe it to yourself.  It will provide an excellent knowledge base to help you comprehend and analyze current events and policies.

Evan Thomas, the author of The War Lovers, is also an editor-in-chief at Newsweek.  He doesn’t hide his feelings about what he considers parallels between this time period and wars in the Middle East.  I don’t know if I agree (simply because I don’t think it’s that simplistic), but I don’t think drawing that correlation is necessary, or even beneficial, to this book.  It is valuable and important on its own, and doesn’t really need to be connected to Dick Cheney and the other players who led the United States into two wars.  But, don’t let that scare you away, because there is so much to gain from The War Lovers.

Pay attention, because this book is bursting with people, places, and events that are integral to Thomas’ telling of this story.  If you like American history or politics, The War Lovers is for you.

I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Kristin is the mom of two boys and two girls and lives outside of Philadelphia, PA. She loves to read, write, shop, and spend as much of her summer as possible at the Jersey shore!

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