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In the American political system today, courage and the presidency are rarely spoken of in the same sentence. Forgotten is the wisdom of Andrew Jackson: One man of courage makes a majority. Thomas J. Whalen's A Higher Purpose seeks to prove the truth behind Jackson's words by relating the stories of nine historic decisions made by commanders-in-chief over two centuries of American history. From Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation to Theodore Roosevelt's confrontation with the business trusts, these vignettes show how some of our presidents have demonstrated the capacity to place their political lives on the line for a higher purpose.