Relying heavily on their own words as captured in letters and diaries, Cokie Roberts's Ladies of Liberty describes key moments in the presidencies of Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams as they were experienced-or shaped-by influential women, thereby illustrating the profound impact of the wives and daughters of American leaders on political events at home and abroad. In addition to their remarkable insight into political events, the women's writings offer touching descriptions of family relationships in an age when geographical separations of spouses or children often lasted years, loved ones were not a mere phone call away, departure for a distant posting might easily prove to be a final parting, and childbirth was a frequent-and frequently fatal-event.
advances the case for a systemic defense founded on systemic analysis of a wide range of potential nuclear threats, the opportunities available to terrorists, and the obstacles that can preclude their success. Based on this analysis, he develops a capabilities-based planning approach focused on the entire threat spectrum and a realistic US objective to prevent such attacks while minimizing the damage if any attack should succeed. In the concluding chapter the author provides a compelling and substantiated recommenda- tion for a number of policy goals to be pursued by the US government; policies that would significantly enhance our defenses against nuclear terrorism. Levi’s systemic approach is strategic thinking at its best and makes this suc- cinct work one of the more thoroughly developed studies related to the challenges confronting both the nuclear terrorist and the threatened state. It is a well-written and deftly organized book, conveying complex technical data and strategic analysis in an easily understood style. For both the novice and experienced policymaker or strategist interested in a comprehensive and unvarnished assessment of nuclear terrorism and the appropriate responses, OnNuclearTerrorism is certain to be of great value. Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation. By Cokie Roberts. New York: William Morrow, 2008. 481 pages. $26.95. Reviewed by Professor Eugenia C. Kiesling, Professor of History, US Military Academy. If journalists are going to write history, then perhaps historians deserve to receive a set of rules of engagement for reviewing their books. It would be insulting to many fine books to tar all journalists with the same brush, but one wearies of repeating concerns about lack of historical methods and fears that complaints will be dismissed as pedantry—or as the sour grapes of one who will never make a best-seller list. So let us play nicely. Relying heavily on their own words as captured in letters and diaries, Cokie Roberts’s LadiesofLiberty describes key moments in the presidencies of Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams as they were experienced—or shaped—by influential women, thereby illustrating the profound impact of the wives and daughters of American leaders on political events at home and abroad. Many of the stories are eye-opening validations of Roberts’s claim that “history looks very dif- ferent when
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