WE THE PRESIDENTS explores how American presidents over the last century, from Warren G. Harding to Donald Trump, have shaped today's world from the birth of supply-side economics in 1921 to the crisis on Ukraine borders a century later.
- The roots of today's Ukraine crisis were established when NATO, with President Clinton's encouragement, chose to expand eastward after the fall of the Soviet Union. "Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era...And it is doubly unfortunate considering the total lack of any necessity for this move," American diplomat George F. Kennan predicted in 1997. (page 435)
- Ronald Reagan predicted today's trade tensions in 1988 when he cautioned, "We should beware of the demagogues who are ready to declare a trade war against our friends...all while cynically waving the American flag." (page 553)
- President Eisenhower planted the seeds of America's troubled involvement in the Middle East in 1953 when he orchestrated a CIA led "covert coup to overthrow Iran's democratically-elected government" after a dispute over oil profits. (page 181)
- Treasury Secretary Mellon revolutionized the nation's taxation policies in 1921 when he declared "the best way to stimulate an economy is through polices that encourage investment in factories, innovation and training." Today we know Mellon's "scientific taxation" as supply-side economics. (page 49)
Praise from Readers
This well-crafted, wonderfully readable book takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the tenures of US presidents over the past 100 years, highlighting the events that shaped America and the world and offers a candid yet balanced and objective critique of their stewardship. An absorbing and compelling tour de force.
Howard Handy, held senior management positions at the IMF and Institute of International Finance
So you think you know your presidential history? Think again. Ronald Gruner has, and he sees more than most. He has balanced vision and an eye for detail. He has written a knowledgeable and easily read work. It is an excellent investment of your time. It was for me.
Jack Falvey, Opinion Writer, The Wall Street Journal and Barron's
This highly readable book is a triumph. Author Ronald Gruner with meticulous research has woven a non-partisan tapestry embedded with historical parallels as seventeen presidents, from Harding to Trump, shaped the American century, up to the present day, when our democracy faces yet another crucial test of its resilience and strength.
Nicholas G. Penniman IV, Publisher (retired), St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Ronald Gruner's clear-sighted view of presidents, their times and contexts is extraordinary. We need the Gruner sensibility in the White House. We the Presidents is more than an absorbing read; it is a great education about how our country works. Gruner's engaging and straightforward writing brings alive a century of presidencies from Harding to Trump, and how their actions have led to what America is today.
Phil Cooper, Founder and Managing Partner, Pine Island Capital Partners
Ronald Gruner is uniquely qualified to write a penetrating presidential history. Gruner applied his significant business experience to objectively analyze the impact of past presidencies on today's America. His extraordinary research provides facts rather than opinions. A must read.
Dr. John R. Patrick, President, Attitude LLC