Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War is a superb work of history and political analysis making the surprising argument that American presidents have repeatedly failed at war. Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center professor Andrew Polsky argues that true success in war is defined not by battlefield triumphs but by whether it accomplishes a nation’s political objectives; even in wars we consider victories, including the Civil War and both World Wars, presidents have often failed to achieve their key political goals, especially the kind of peace they sought. Elusive Victories offers a penetrating analysis of the multiple dimensions of wartime presidential leadership and an insightful explanation for why presidents fail. Pulitzer Prize-winning historial James M. McPherson says, “In this provocative and incisive study of six presidents as wartime commanders in chief, Andrew Polsky demonstrates that it is much easier to start a war than to bring it to a successful conclusion.” International relations scholar Andrew J. Bacevich says “Polsky’s cautionary tale is as timely as it is important.” (Oxford University Press)
Whimsical cartoonist, Smithsonian and Forbes visual blogger, and author of Indexed Jessica Hagy‘s How to be Interesting: You Don’t Have to be Wealthy to Lead a Rich Life, a funny, thought-provoking guide to finding one’s personal route through life, based on her Forbes column that has already been viewed on-line nearly a million times and shared on Facebook and Twitter over 50,000 times, at auction in a very nice deal to Bruce Tracy at Workman Publishing.