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A good example of this is his relationship with the celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh. Roosevelt asked J. Edgar Hoover to keep tabs on Lindbergh because he was a critic of the administration, and FDR suspected he was a closeted Nazi (not true, but perhaps an understandable opinion). Roosevelt's Secret War reveals how FDR created a huge intelligence operation and then ran it--he "built espionage into the structure of American government," says Persico. There were plenty of successes (Roosevelt knew about Hitler's plans to invade Russia before they did it), but also failings: Soviet agents burrowed into FDR's administration at the highest levels. One of the best sections of the book addresses a perennial question: Did FDR know the Japanese were about to bomb Pearl Harbor and let them do it because he believed the sneak attack would propel the public into supporting war against the Axis powers? Persico argues that FDR didn't know: "The clues seem to lead to that conclusion like lights on a well-marked runway." He makes a convincing case that "Pearl Harbor was a catastrophe, not a conspiracy." Roosevelt's Secret War is a unique contribution to our understanding of FDR--no other book treats America's longest-serving president as a spymaster--and it will appeal to readers interested in the Second World War and the cloak-and-dagger world of espionage. --John Miller
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
An excellent history of a little known role that FDR played in promoting the collection and analysis of foreign intelligence that would later become the CIA. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Baywatcher
Having read a number of books dealing with WW II spying by US, Brits, and Germans, I found this book to be a great overview. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rich72
Outstanding! Very unusual. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history.Published 5 months ago by RONALD
Excellent outline of historic events - accurate and candid. Well narratedPublished 6 months ago by Gavril Trand
Very informative and very very interesting. Extraordinary research. Smooth reading.Published 8 months ago by Sahajanand
I thought I knew alot about World War II history, but this book shows me a whole different side.Published 9 months ago by Steven Leenerts
Well written with probing analysis and tidbits of information such as the man who knew about Pearl Harbor but ignored the information was J. Edgar Hoover.Published 9 months ago by A. R. Kearney
the more you learn but fdr he may prove to be just another political disappointment. hurray for eleanor and francis perkins the true progressive in the fdr admin.Published 12 months ago by donaldmize
Mr. Persico is known for his research and fact-checking, something that is no longer that common. He writes clearly and concisely with a lot of detail and knowledge of his subject. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gardening in Upstate NY