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As William Nester asserts in The Age of Jackson, it takes quite a leader to personify an age. A political titan for thirty-three years (1815-1848), Andrew Jackson possessed character, beliefs, and acts that dominated American politics. Although Jackson returned to his Tennessee plantation in March 1837 after serving eight years as president, he continued to overshadow American politics. Two of his proteges, Martin "the Magician" van Buren and James "Young Hickory" Polk, followed him to the White House and pursued his agenda.
Jackson provoked firestorms of political passions throughout his era. Far more people loved than hated him, but the fervor was just as pitched either way. Although the passions have subsided, the debate lingers. Historians are split over Jackson's legacy. Some extol him as among America's greatest presidents, citing his championing of the common man, holding the country together during the nullification crisis, and eliminating the national debt. Others excoriate him as a mean-spirited despot who shredded the Constitution and damaged the nation's development by destroying the Second Bank of the United States, defying the Supreme Court, and grossly worsening political corruption through his spoils system. Still others condemn his forcibly expelling more than forty thousand Native Americans from their homes and along the Trail of Tears, which led far west of the Mississippi River, with thousands perishing along the way.
In his clear-eyed assessment of one of the most divisive leaders in American history, Nester provides new insight into the age-old debate about the very nature of power itself.
A Brief History of the American Experience
Global air mobility is an American invention. During the twentieth century, other nations developed capabilities to transport supplies and personnel by air to support deployed military forces. But only the United States mustered the resources and will to create a global transport force and aerial refueling aircraft capable of moving air and ground combat forces of all types to anywhere in the world and supporting them in continuous combat operations. Whether contemplating a bomber campaign or halting another surprise attack, American war planners have depended on transport and tanker aircraft to launch, reinforce, and sustain operations.
Air mobility has also changed the way the United States relates to the world. American leaders use air mobility to signal friends and enemies of their intent and ability to intervene, attack, or defend on short notice and powerfully. Stateside air wings and armored brigades on Sunday can be patrolling the air of any continent on Wednesday and taking up defensive positions on a friend's borders by Friday. This capability affects the diplomacy and the calculations of America and its friends and enemies alike. Moreover, such global mobility has made America the world's philanthropist. From their earliest days, American airlift forces have performed thousands of humanitarian missions, dropping hay to snow-bound cattle, taking stranded pilgrims to Mecca, and delivering food and medicine to tsunami stricken towns.
Air Mobility examines how air power elevated the American military's penchant for speed and ability to maneuver to an art unequalled by any other nation.
Is charitable giving more about satisfying the needs of the donor or those of the recipient? The answer, according to Friedman, is both, and Reinventing Philanthropy provides the essential tools for maximizing the impact of one's donations.
A History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence on World Events, Volume I: 1909-1945
How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics
Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin's "A Practical Course for Guerrilla War"
The Vision of a Native Filmmaker
Drawing on an analysis of issues surrounding the consumption of alcohol in a diverse range of source materials, including novels, newspapers, medical texts, and archival records, this lively and engaging interdisciplinary study explores sociocultural nation-building processes in Mexico between 1810 and 1910. Examining the historical importance of drinking as both an important feature of Mexican social life and a persistent source of concern for Mexican intellectuals and politicians, Deborah Toner’s Alcohol and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Mexico offers surprising insights into how the nation was constructed and deconstructed in the nineteenth century.
Although Mexican intellectuals did indeed condemn the physically and morally debilitating aspects of excessive alcohol consumption and worried that particularly Mexican drinks and drinking places were preventing Mexico’s progress as a nation, they also identified more culturally valuable aspects of Mexican drinking cultures that ought to be celebrated as part of an “authentic” Mexican national culture. The intertwined literary and historical analysis in this study illustrates how wide-ranging the connections were between ideas about drinking, poverty, crime, insanity, citizenship, patriotism, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity in the nineteenth century, and the book makes timely and important contributions to the fields of Latin American literature, alcohol studies, and the social and cultural history of nation-building.
The Life behind the Baseball Legend
Invincible King of Macedonia
Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.E.), who reigned as king of Macedonia for only thirteen years, set a flame of conquest that introduced the dynamism of Hellenism to the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian worlds. Re-creating their ossified cultures, he established a standard of leadership and military conquest that the most successful of Roman emperors, medieval knights, and steppe barbarians would never truly match. Julius Caesar wept that he could not surpass Alexander, while Napoleon could only dream of such invincibility. Alexander had the great fortune to be born the able son of Philip II, one of the most talented men of war and politics produced by the Hellenic world, who created for Alexander the foundation of the Macedonian state and army that would be the tools of his future greatness. AlexanderÆs invincibility was the product of his profound genius - the perfection of body, boundless energy, imagination, daring, intellect, and vision in one man. He was a master tactician, strategist, logistician, diplomat, and statesman, with an ability to win the affection and quick obedience of others. Even his enemies fell victim to his valor and charm. His personal attributes and accomplishments were so far removed from those of ordinary men that he achieved almost superhuman status within his lifetime. Above all, he was the preeminent man of war. Even today, as the noise of battle rattles Kandahar, a city in Afghanistan that Alexander named for himself, war clings to his name.
Today, air power is a vital component of the U.S. armed forces. James Libbey, in Alexander P. de Seversky and the Quest for Air Power, highlights the contributions of an aviation pioneer who made much of it possible.
Graduating from the Imperial Russian Naval Academy at the start of World War I, de Seversky lost a leg in his first combat mission. He still shot down thirteen German planes and became the empire's most decorated combat naval pilot.
While serving as a naval attache in the United States in 1918, de Seversky elected to escape the Bolshevik Revolution and offered his services as a pilot and consulting engineer to the U.S. War Department. He proved inventive both in the technology of advanced military aircraft and in the strategy of exercising air power. He worked for famed aviation advocate Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, who encouraged the naturalized citizen to patent his inventions, such as an in-flight refueling system and a gyroscopically synchronized bombsight. His creative spirit then spurred him to design and manufacture advanced military aircraft.
When World War II broke out in Europe, de Seversky became America's best-known philosopher, prophet, and advocate for air power, even serving as an adviser to the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. The highlight of his life occurred in 1970 when the Aviation Hall of Fame enshrined de Seversky for "his achievements as a pilot, aeronautical engineer, inventor, industrialist, author, strategist, consultant, and scientific advances in aircraft design and aerospace technology."
This book will appeal to readers with a special interest in military history and to anyone who wants to learn more about American air power's most important figures.