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Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (1940-1945) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
For some who might want to know more about the actual military engagements in Europe and the Pacific, you might be a bit disappointed. This book is more concerned with strategies developed by Roosevelt and other leaders for both fronts, where priority should be given, how the alliance worked together and so forth. Roosevelt's respect for public opinion was certainly a major factor for his early hesitancy to rush to the aid of Great Britain. Indeed, Roosevelt was seemingly always guided by popular opinion, though I think he probably was ahead of it in ways.
Some of the interesting facets of this book that helped shed some insight for me on Roosevelt's foreign policy was his belief that China had to be a major player in the postwar world, even though he perhaps overestimated China's military capabilities under Chiang Kai-shek. His understanding of the importance of trying to keep good relations with Russia came through as well. His anti-colonialism was often used to tweak Churchill, though as Burns stated, Roosevelt would never go too far in the risk of jeopardizing allied partnership.Read more ›
FDR's dedication to the well-being of the United States in WWII is evidenced by the fact that to start with, he didn't want a third term in office come 1940. Indeed, such aspirations were frowned upon in the political community. It did not stop him; as he saw it, it was his duty and obligation to the American people to keep familiar leadership in time of international turmoil. Other obstacles: struggles to arm allies, constant planning and meeting with allied leaders, and gradual, failing health. Burns also shows FDR's political savvy, using the utilization for war to the nation's advantage. Many unemployed workers were put back to work, which helped shift American industry into an overdrive that didn't stop for decades. Vision: as a disciple of Woodrow Wilson, he had a vision of a United Nations. One that he did not live to see.
For anyone reading about FDR, or World War II, this companion volume on his war administration is a must for anyone's collection, as it has become in mine.
Throughout his presidency, a disconnect existed between Roosevelt's high-minded rhetoric and his behind-the-scenes use of Realpolitik. Roosevelt's strong speeches outlined bold, idealistic war aims, but he suffered from indecision behind the scenes, which delayed the United States' commitment before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt's indecision and his vague policy preferences were due to stiff political opposition from isolationist voters at home. The draft-extension bill, for example, survived by only one vote and limited other moves to escalate the war effort.
The attack on Pearl Harbor unified the nation and brought Roosevelt's strategy into focus.Read more ›
Like the first volume, it is a readable study of a master of the political process. Beginning in the autumn of 1940, it tells the story of FDR's skillful guidance of the country down the road leading to involvement in World War II. Going through the building of an internationalist coalition in Congress and the passage of the Lend-Lease and Selective Service bills, the latter which passed by one vote, the reader come to appreciate the tight rope which FDR had to negotiate in order to prepare his generation for its greatest rendezvous with destiny. Amidst those challenges, Roosevelt devised a strategy with which to guide the U.S. through the choppy seas that he saw ahead. Many think of America's involvement as beginning with Pearl Harbor, but this book outlines the beginning of the war with the naval involvement in the North Atlantic which brought the U.S. closer and closer to active combat.
The attack on Pearl Harbor brought a new challenge to this soldier who's adhered to the "Europe First" principle. Domestic political and naval pressure was brought to bear to take the war to Japan, which had attacked us, rather than Germany, which was seen as Britain's foe. With determination, FDR balanced the resource demands of the three theatres, Europe, the Pacific and China, while focusing on the defeat of Germany.
The USSR's constant distrust of the Western Allies complicated the issues of where to take the offensive. It was Roosevelt who insisted on Operation Torch, the landings in North Africa, in order to show good faith in establishing a second front to draw pressure off of Russia and to get U.S.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been a fan of Dr. Burns since I used his and Pelston's Government by the People when I was taking Government 101 in the early '50's. His histories do not disappoint. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jroush1
Well worth it. Helps understand our world's current challenges. Appreciate what qualities and strength Franklin Roosevelt possessed and demonstrated. Very well writtenPublished 5 months ago by D. Imholte
Explains the strategic and tactical conflicts well, and the inevitability of Yalta.Published 7 months ago by Joseph N. de Raismes
I am working my way through US political biographers in a valiant attempt to try and understand the US system and this book was another in my journey and it did make a contribution... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dennis Rutzou
I read this over several months as e-book which was a disservice to it. Fascinating history of hard decisions reverberating today and years to come. Read morePublished 8 months ago by S.A.Brown
A well researched look at FDR from 1940 until his death in April, 1945. Not only are key battles of WWII featured, but so also is much on Churchill, Stalin, & other allied leaders,... Read morePublished 9 months ago by voracious reader
"Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom" is the second volume of James MacGregor Burns' magisterial two-volume biography of Franklin D. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mike Powers
The author does a great job delving into the complexities of Roosevelt. The book explains in detail how Roosevelt led us into World War II. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Timothy1410
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