Nigel Hamilton’s Books

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 528 pages) Order the book from

About The Mantle of Command

Hamilton conducted research using the president's own notes and interviewed Roosevelt family members and surviving presidential aides in writing this first volume of a two-volume set. Recounting stories of opposing opinions from allies like Winston Churchill and FDR’s own military advisors, the biography depicts 14 key periods in the first two years of the war that demonstrate Roosevelt’s tactical genus in selecting personnel and planning military tactics.

Publishers Weekly praises the book as “a definitive volume on this aspect of Roosevelt’s career and essential reading for anyone interested in WWII, the Roosevelt Presidency, and presidential leadership."

Critics at the Library Journal also gave the biography a starred review. “This convincingly written and gripping volume is essential for historians, political scientists, and history buffs, for a deeper understanding of the principle of civilian supremacy of the military in the U.S. political system."

Hamilton is currently working on the second volume, Commander in Chief: FDR at War, 1943-1945.

AMERICAN CAESARS: Lives of the Presidents, From Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush
Yale University Press, 624 pages.  Order the book from

About American Caesars

Modeled on one of the most famous histories of ancient Rome (Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars penned in 200 BC), Nigel Hamilton’s new book, American Caesars, looks afresh at the lives and careers of the twelve leaders of the American empire since World War II, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush.

One by one, Hamilton relates and examines the presidents’ unique characteristics,their paths to Pennsylvania Avenue,their effectiveness as global leaders, and their lessons in governance, both good and bad. With uncompromising candor he looks at how these powerful men responded to the challenges that defined their presidencies, including FDR’s role as a war leader, Harry Truman’s decision to mount a Berlin Airlift, Lyndon Johnson’s controversial Civil Rights legislation and war in Vietnam, Jimmy Carter’s handling of the Iran hostage crisis, Bush Senior ’s effectiveness during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and George W's fateful invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the Suetonian manner, Hamilton also looks at the presidents’ private lives—some noble, some flawed, some deeply moving.

In this essential book for our times, Hamilton strips away myths and wishful thinking to record our most recent presidents as they really were: leaders guiding the fortunes of an unruly empire, on a world stage. In its scope, clarity, readability, and empathy, American Caesars is destined to become a modern classic.

Featured Videos on American Caesars

Other Books by Nigel Hamilton

  • Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency (2007)
    “Hamilton ably illustrates Clinton’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader, how he thrived whenever the occasion called for him to inspire or commiserate, and how time and again his failures could be traced to what Hamilton calls his ‘inability to function as a manager of men and women in a structured environment.’” – Washington Post Book World    Book description and order form
  • Biography: A Brief History (2007)
    " This zesty romp through millennia of biographical portraits comes from the pen of a master biographer (JFK: Reckless Youth). Hamilton's a friendly spectator to his own art, undaunted by its age, variety or the number and skill of the practitioners who've gone before him...It's hard to think of a better introduction to one of the most popular genres of literature and art today." - Publishers Weekly   Book description and order information
  • Montgomery: D-Day Commander (2006)
    Book description and order information
  • The Full Monty: Montgomery of Alamein 1887 – 1942 (2001)
    Book description and order information
  • JFK: Reckless Youth (1995)
    “Nigel Hamilton’s story, told with great intelligence and sympathy, is of how Kennedy came to terms with his inheritance and frightful upbringing...He has done a splendid job...enthralling reading.” - Daily Telegraph

    “Rich, gripping...easily takes its place beside the best of recent presidential portraits...It is a book not only about a remarkable young John F. Kennedy, but also about democracy’s own still-reckless age.” – Roger Morris, The New York Times Book Review    Book description and order information
  • Monty: The Battles of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (1994)
  • Frontiers (1991)
  • Monty: the Man behind the Legend (1988)
  • Monty: Final Years of the Field-Marshall 1944 – 1976 (1986)
  • Monty: The Making of a General (1981)
  • The Brothers Mann (1979)
  • America Began at Greenwich (1976)
  • Guide to Greenwich (1972)
  • Greenwich in Colour (1971)
  • Royal Greenwich (1969)

Ordering books by Nigel Hamilton

Check out The Mantle of Command website

Read excerpts and reviews of the book, see photos, and learn more about Nigel Hamilton. Read More 

Book Reviews for American Caesars

it succeeds brilliantly ... American Caesars is a commanding study on the nature of personal authority and the presidency." Irish Times

"An impressive body of work that has strong, gripping themes" Herald Scotland

"Hamilton .. is widely respected in academic circles for the durability and gravity of his historical works ...What distinguishes Hamilton’s book is that he has been able to portray the character of each president as he was seen by his critics, but also as the president in question saw himself." Asharq Alawsat, the leading Arabic International Daily

Why UMass Boston?

Professor Amy E. Smith embraces the challenge of meeting the needs of visually impaired public policy students.

Amy E. Smith

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs

“The fact that we have very interdisciplinary faculty means that students get experts teaching them.

Read More ›

Giving to UMass Boston

Your gift to the Dean’s Innovation Fund will help our graduate school respond to creative opportunities as they arise and seed promising initiatives.

Give Now