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The Buck Stops Here    by Thomas Craughwell & Edwin Kiester Jr. order for
Buck Stops Here
by Thomas Craughwell
Order:  USA  Can
Fair Winds Press, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This very entertaining and informative book delves into 28 of the toughest presidential decisions made by the United State's chief executives and how these decisions changed history.

Beginning with George Washington's decision to stamp out the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 and concluding with Richard Nixon's decision in 1972 to visit China and launch a new era of U.S.-China relations, these pivotal decisions span three centuries.

It will come as no surprise to American history buffs to discover that Theodore Roosevelt is credited with four of these decisions. And his cousin, Franklin Roosevelt, equaled the Trust Buster with four of his own; the establishment of Social Security, the Lend-Lease Act, the GI Bill of Rights, and support for the creation of the United Nations.

Each well illustrated, short chapter defines each presidential decision and discusses why it changed history. Some of these events are relatively well known, such as Harry Truman giving the green light to use the atomic bomb to end the war in Japan. But others, like Chester Arthur's attack of the spoils system by creating the Civil Service Commission in the early 1800s, have been largely forgotten by most people.

While some decisions were simply expedient, others required the courage of conviction in the face of intense opposition. Some were motivated by political loyalties, but others were inspired by a noble vision of a better nation. All, in one way or another, were momentous and helped define who we are and how we live today.

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