On February 15, 1898, the American ship USS Maine mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor. News of the blast quickly reached U.S. shores, where it was met by some not with alarm but with great enthusiasm.
A powerful group of war lovers agitated for the United States to exert its muscle across the seas. Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge were influential politicians dismayed by the "closing" of the western frontier. William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal falsely heralded that Spain's "secret infernal machine" had destroyed the battleship as Hearst himself saw great potential in whipping Americans into a frenzy. The Maine would provide the excuse they'd been waiting for.
On the other side were Roosevelt's former teacher, philosopher William James, and his friend and political ally, Thomas Reed, the powerful Speaker of the House. Both foresaw a disaster. At stake was not only sending troops to Cuba and the Philippines, Spain's sprawling colony on the other side of the world, but also the friendships between these men.
Now, bestselling historian Evan Thomas brings us the full story of this monumental turning point in American history. Epic in scope and revelatory in detail, The War Lovers takes us from Boston mansions to the halls of Congress to the beaches of Cuba and the jungles of the Philippines. It is a landmark work with an unforgettable cast of characters — and provocative relevance to today.
A narrative of the Pacific War that culminates in the battle of Leyte Gulf, the greatest naval battle ever fought. Drawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, Thomas provides an account not only of the great sea battle and Pacific naval war, but of the contrasting cultures pitted against each other.
VERY BEST MEN
The story of the CIA’s early days as told through the careers of four glamorous, daring, and idealistic men who ran covert operations for the government from the end of World War II to Vietnam. Evan Thomas re-creates the personal dramas and sometimes tragic lives of Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, and Desmond FitzGerald, who risked everything to contain the Soviet threat.
JOHN PAUL JONES
John Paul Jones, at sea and in the heat of the battle, was the great American hero of the Age of Sail. Evan Thomas’s minute-by-minute re-creation of the bloodbath between Jones’s Bonhomme Richard and the British man-of-war Serapis off the coast of England on an autumn night in 1779 is as gripping a sea battle as can be found in any novel.
Thomas’s unvarnished but sympathetic and fair-minded portrayal is packed with new details about Robert Kennedy’s early life and his behind-the-scenes machinations, including new revelations about the 1960 and 1968 presidential campaigns, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his long struggles with J. Edgar Hoover and Lyndon Johnson.
THE WISE MEN
A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces the original best and brightest, leaders whose outsized personalities and actions brought order to postwar chaos: Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt’s special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation’s most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.
THE MAN TO SEE
Legendary attorney Edward Bennet Williams was arguably the best trial lawyer ever to practice. Now, for the first time, best-selling author Evan Thomas takes us into the courtrooms of William’s greatest performances as he defends “Godfather” Frank Costello, Jimmy Hoffa, Frank Sinatra, The Washington Post, and others, as well as behind the scenes where the witnesses are coached, the traps set, and the deals cut.