White House Warriors: How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War


Product Details

$28.95  $26.92
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.3 X 9.3 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

John Gans, PhD, runs the Global Order Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House. A former chief speechwriter at the Pentagon and frequent teacher at John Hopkins University, he lives near Philadelphia.


This forceful historical account is a much-needed published assessment, given that NSC members are generally not known to the public. . . . This book is essential reading for all interested in politics, government, and contemporary history.--Booklist [starred review]
This is an especially lucid account of how Washington came to deal with the rest of the world, full of lively anecdotes that make the book not just good history but a good read. John Gans is one of the most knowledgeable experts we have on the National Security Council staff, how it works, and how it doesn't. He's studied foreign policy both as a scholar and a public official, and the lessons he learned have gone into this book.--James Mann, author of Rise of the Vulcans and The Obamians
Serving at the pleasure of the president is a one-of-a-kind experience. With keen insights, deep research, and just the right amount of empathy, John Gans takes us inside the long and sometimes crisis-filled days of some of the lucky few who have worked in the White House. Readers will come away better informed about the successes and setbacks not just of the public servants so adroitly profiled here but the United States itself.--Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, New York Times bestselling author, and co-host of the Hysteria podcast
In the tradition of David Halberstam, John Gans Jr. has provided an essential account of one of Washington's most consequential, but also most misunderstood, working parts.--Graeme Wood, author of The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State
This insightful and compelling book helps make sense of how the White House's powerful National Security Council staff works and also why it often doesn't--sometimes helping presidents make sound foreign policy, but all too frequently getting the policy wrong with terrible human consequences. Richly detailed from interviews with White House staffers, the book disproves Donald Trump's feverish claims of a 'deep state' out to undermine the presidency.--Gary J. Bass, author of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide
John Gans shows us how the staff of the National Security Council has gradually accumulated or been given extraordinary influence over American national security policy. Sharply critical of this development, the author understands and even admires the people whom he believes have, less through ambition than the abdication of others, inadvertently undermined democratic governance. Controversial, compellingly written, and above all an essential read for anyone who wants to know not only why the United States goes to war, but how.--Eliot Cohen, professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and author of Supreme Command