"The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States . . . " - U.S. Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 2. The Founders took a big risk In vesting the military power of the new American republic in a person who might well be a rank military amateur. They limited that risk,however, by giving the power "To declare War" to Congress. U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8. How well have Presidents fared as Commanders-in-Chief? How well has the Constitutional framework for the warmaking power stood the test of time? These questions are at the heart of Presidents at War (N.Y.: Crown Publishing, 2018) by award-winning historian Michael Beschloss. Beschloss examines the war presidencies of eight Chief Executives - Madison, Polk, Lincoln, McKinley, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson. He provides us with an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses which each President brought to the task. Finally, he draws unsettling conclusions regarding the drift of the warmaking power from legislative to executive hands. If you are interested in the American presidency, the history of our nation at war, or the delicate interplay of the Constitutional warmaking provisions, you will not want to miss this class.