For my book Bad Presidents, I found a wide range of websites related to the various presidents in our history. Many of the websites I perused were either blatantly biased or gave the subject matter such a cursory treatment that I could have read about every president in half an hour. Eventually I narrowed my list to two websites but then, remembering that this is my blog, realized that I could use both! The first one, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents , was about what I would expect from a White House website, a brief description of the presidents subtly extolling their more positive contributions. I liked this site though because I know that it’s trustworthy (I wish I could say the same of our government in light of the continued news of NSA espionage). The other website, http://millercenter.org/president , is more of what I was looking for in regards to comprehensive biographies of the men who led this nation. Each president is meticulously detailed and well presented in their profiles courtesy of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. If you’re looking for a brief bio of a president then the White House page is well suited, however if you are seeking a thorough and well-rounded account of a president then the Miller Center is certainly your best option.
This article is called A President and an Admiral for a reason though, and since none of esteemed presidents have been admirals, it stands to reason that there is another book for this article. That book would be Yi Sun-sin, the account of one of history’s most daring and accomplished military geniuses. Rising to fame during Japan’s invasion of Korea in the late 1500’s, Yi Sun-sin’s battles are the stuff of legend, none more so than the Battle of Myeongyang, where Admiral Yi, with a fleet of 13 ships successfully defended Korea against an invasion force of between 333-550 Japanese ships. Unfortunately, it appears that many of Admiral Yi’s best websites are in Korean (understandably so), so I opted to use the site where I first learned about him – and one of my favorite websites period – http://www.badassoftheweek.com . For Admiral Yi’s specific exploits go to http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=767324127223. I recommend the read as you’ll find that he developed iron clad warships centuries before the Civil War.
P.S.: As a bonus I HIGHLY recommend you read the simply unbelievable account of Jack Churchill at http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=601960524369. Here’s a photo of him leading his troops into battle duringWW2. Yes, that is a sword.