Cowboys & Indians

THE BORDERS OF NIGHT

MOST AMERICAN PRESIDENTS come to power with a grand vision, one they believe will unify the nation and move its people collectively forward. Of course, as history has made clear, presidential visions are quickly clouded over by the necessary management of an unfolding reality. It was, after all, Kennedy who captured the nation’s imagination when he proclaimed, “We choose to go to the moon,” only to find himself countering the Soviets in a more direct manner that could well have ended in nuclear exchange. It was Johnson, and eventually Nixon, who reaped the national morale that came with the moon landing, only to find themselves managing Kennedy’s darker legacy: Vietnam.

The careful reader of American history may find

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