On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. The sinking of the Maine was just the provocation Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt was looking for. Along with his friend Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and his rival, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, Roosevelt began stirring the public's desire for war against Spain. Roosevelt was soon charging up San Juan Hill in Cuba with his Rough Riders in a tragi-comic campaign that marked America's emergence as an empire abroad. Through the perspective of five larger-than-life characters--war lovers Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and two prominent doves, House Speaker Thomas Reed and philosopher William James--Evan Thomas portrays a pivotal chapter in American history. An intriguing examination of the pull that war has on men, THE WAR LOVERS is moving saga of courage, ambition, and broken friendships with a provocative relevance to today.