Children's LiteratureFrom 1789 when Congress voted to establish a Department of War, to the current Defense Department, this book offers a painless and easy-to-understand introduction to the position of the United States Secretary of Defense. The book begins with a brief discussion of the U.S. Constitution and the three branches of government, and goes on to include such varied topics as requirements for becoming secretary of defense, where the secretary works, and what it means to be the nation's chief military advisor. Two times of crisis for United States secretaries of defense are examined-the Vietnam conflict and the 1979 to 1980 Iranian hostage crisis-along with discussions about how the secretaries of defense handled these crises. Included is a list of interesting facts about different secretaries of defense, a schedule of a typical day for a modern defense secretary, a glossary and an index. As part of the "America's Leaders" series by Blackbirch Press, this book offers students of all ages a well-written, interesting jumping off point for understanding the workings of the United States government. 2002, Blackbirch Press/The Gale Group Inc, Ages 8 to 12.