Coming Soon!
U.S. Presidents during Wartime
A History of Leadership
by Sean N. Kalic and Ethan S. Rafuse
September 2023, 500pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6598-5
$107, £83, 94€, A147
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6599-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The most defining moments for a U.S. president often come with war, and while tales of success are immortalized, so too are the errors that occur when the nation is under threat.

From the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, the United States has had no shortage of conflicts on both domestic and world stages. All provide insight into the values of the presidents who led the nation through them.

U.S. Presidents during Wartime: A History of Leadership takes readers through chronological entries of presidents who participated in key wars throughout U.S. history. An overview essay first considers the social, economic, and political factors that affected presidents during war. Entries beginning with the presidency of George Washington and ending with that of George W. Bush comprehensively cover each war therein, as well as the responses of the relevant presidents.

Primary documents in each entry depict the perspectives of the presidents and offer opportunities for comparing and contrasting the presidents’ engagements in wartime strategies. Ending each entry are chronologies of the various events and conflicts that marked the president’s time in office. Moreover, entries build upon each other to help readers toward a broader understanding of the sum impact of the wars that the presidents led. While the book emphasizes the historical record, it also explores ongoing conflicts through the lens of contemporary U.S. presidents to provide readers with a complete picture of the changing nature of war over time.


  • Primary documents offer insight into the values and perspectives of presidents during wartime
  • Chronologies in each entry ensure complete context of the president’s involvement in war
  • Entries offer in-depth yet easy-to-understand analysis of both the conflicts and presidential actions
  • Intuitive organization aids the reader in making connections across conflicts and time periods
  • Bibliography of resources points readers toward additional print and online resources
Sean N. Kalic, PhD, is professor of military history at the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College. He is author of U.S. Presidents and the Militarization of Space, 1945–1967.

Ethan S. Rafuse, PhD, is professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His publications include McClellan's War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union.
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