During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy read Barbara Tuchman's August 1914. As President George W. Bush prepares for a second Gulf war, he apparently is reading Eliot Cohen's Supreme Command.
Kennedy would have had more fun. Tuchman is a better read than Cohen. She also advances what proved in the circumstances to be important advice: leave the subordinates to deal with the telegrams while the boss keeps a clear head to decide for peace or war. Curiously, the episode itself produced a book still eminently valuable to a statesman in crisis, Robert Kennedy's Thirteen Days. It tells how Bobby, as chairman of the Executive Committee, spared his brother Jack the confusions that helped to drive Europe into the first world war.