By Nathan Aaseng
The author looks at eight situations during this century that have demanded decisive presidential action. He describes them in detail, presents the options that were available, and encourages readers to make their own choices. They can then turn a page and find out who the president was and what he did. There is also a "hindsight" section that details the results and long-term effects of these decisions. The Pennsylvania coal strike of 1902, the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the race riots in Little Rock, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Watergate burglary are included. From them, readers can see that our leaders are often faced with less-than-perfect options, and that what may be best for the country may not be politically feasible, such as Wilson's attempt to force the U.S. into joining the League of Nations. All of the presidents are pictured, as are the major players and appropriate scenes from each event. This format will help young adults understand both the scope and limitations of the power the president wields and the ways in which the office has evolved.