Doesn’t it sometimes feel like history has run out of original plot lines? In the engrossing new book The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898, Evan Thomas, editor-at-large at Newsweek, recounts a war propelled by motives that just might strike you as awfully familiar.
The book follows a cast of influential hawks, including the pre-presidential Teddy Roosevelt, his friend and fellow politician Henry Cabot Lodge and the powerful yet mad newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, as they helped drive the country toward the Spanish-American War. Their motivations are eerily reminiscent: a passion for battle, a desire to spread freedom, a penchant for yellow journalism and a few (probably fabricated) threats to American safety. Thomas’s well-researched book teaches an interesting history and is also a lively read of the past that insightfully comments on our present.
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