Steven Conn: The Civil War began 150 years ago, and after four blood-soaked years, the North won the war. But though winners usually write the histories of wars, in the case of the Civil War much of the history was written from the South’s point of view.
Walter Moss: One of the great ego traps for any president is being surrounded by “yes men and women” who tell him (and maybe someday her) that he is always right. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote of an occasion when President Bush’s “eyes became fixed, his voice took on the agitated, rapid tone of someone neither accustomed to nor welcoming interruption. His easy affability was replaced by an almost messianic certainty. As I watched my mostly Republican Senate colleagues hang on his every word, I was reminded of the dangerous isolation that power can bring, and appreciated the founders’ wisdom in designing a system to keep power in check.”