A Rumour of War

May 24th, 2010

And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

Sometimes in America, there is a desperate need for war, an atavistic desire for violence. This trend has repeated itself thought our history. In 1890 there was clearly this need for war. Teddy Roosevelt embodied that need. He was ready to go to war against Spain, but according to his letters, any nation would do. He felt the need to cope with  much change and reaffirm a nation that some argued was going soft. Sound familiar? Newsweek editor-at-large Evan Thomas, in this new book The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898 spent years researching what happened in the 1890's and what lessons we might learn today. My conversation with Evan Thomas: