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Hands OffRead about another book on the list.
by Dexter Perkins
All presidents since George Washington have dealt with diplomatic problems and conducted foreign policy. Washington, in his farewell address ("it is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances"), sought to advise successors who would have to deal with Napoleon, Barbary pirates and armed conflict with Britain, but it was James Monroe who was the first chief executive to establish a working principle of U.S foreign policy designed for indefinite use. Dexter Perkins's "Hands Off" is a graceful account of the origins and later history of the Monroe Doctrine—which, in 1823, declared the Western hemisphere off-limits to European colonial expansion. The doctrine did more than survive Monroe's two terms; it became a permanent feature of American policy down to the present day—an astonishing achievement for a parenthetical section of an annual message to Congress.
Also see: Five best books on statesmen.