Summary: This succinct, readable paperback, an outgrowth of the author's highly-acclaimed volume The Presidency of William McKinley, deserves widespread adoption in courses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century US. diplomatic history and foreign policy. It substantially supersedes other accounts of the coming of the Spanish-American War, the war itself, and the aftermath of the conflict. Based on the most up-to-date research available, it provides a new and refreshi ...show moreng perspective on McKinley's handling of the war.
According to Gould, McKinley's expansive view of presidential power had a significant effect on his role as commander-in-chief during the war years and on his efforts to make the White House a command post. McKinley laid the foundation of the modern presidency by his courageous and principled presidential leadership during the coming of the war, by the way he conducted and oversaw the war itself, and by the manner in which he made peace with Spain, acquired the Philippines, and gained approval of the Treaty of Paris in the Senate.
Gould's thought-provoking analysis may cause scholars to rethink the era in a new way; its lively style will be appreciated by students.