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158 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blatant Truth Telling
... First, Fleming not only does NOT join the conspiracy buffs (which, by the way, include the prestigious John Toland) who say that FDR planned Pearl Harbor, Fleming actually DEBUNKS those theories somewhat.
Fleming interviews the captain of an obsolete warship who was sent out on what the captain describes as a "suicide mission" by Presidential order to try to...
Published on May 13, 2001 by David J. Forsmark

versus
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting insights, a big error, and dubious other reviews
Full Disclosure: I read the book several years ago. This review
is based on notes, and not on a fresh impression.

The book had some interesting points. For instance, that a German
Catholic bishop denounced the Nazi's killing of mentally disabled people.
He said that the Allied bombings of German was "God's punishment
for the killing of...
Published 23 months ago by Prague Spring


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158 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blatant Truth Telling, May 13, 2001
By 
... First, Fleming not only does NOT join the conspiracy buffs (which, by the way, include the prestigious John Toland) who say that FDR planned Pearl Harbor, Fleming actually DEBUNKS those theories somewhat.
Fleming interviews the captain of an obsolete warship who was sent out on what the captain describes as a "suicide mission" by Presidential order to try to provoke an incident with the Japanese. He was saved by the Pearl Harbor raid because he was called back to port. If FDR knew the Pearl Harbor raid was coming, there would have no point to doing this. Fleming shows that the racist attitudes toward the Japanese-- don't forget, our Liberal ICON FDR is the ONLY American president in this century to round people up solely because of their race imprison them-- meant that no one in the American chain of command believed that the Japanese were capable of such a raid. (Don't forget, Billy Mitchell was court martialed for saying it would happen.)
On the subject of FDR's health, even the FDR worshippers will tell you that the Democrat party bosses insisted on Truman because they knew FDR was dying, and were afraid of being stuck with Henry Wallace as their 1948 nominee. The pro-FDR crowd make this deception of the American electorate proof of FDR's brillance. Fleming merely says that the people had a right to know, and that perhaps FDR was starting to believe his own press clippings when he thought that the country would not survive without his election.
Fleming also exposes the fact that McCarthy was not the first to say that people who opposed them politically were sympathetic to America's enemies. FDR tried to jail some of his opponents, and was slaughered in the 1942 election when his hubris led him to say that Republicans and those who were not pro-war before Pearl Harbor were fascists.
Fleming is the first in a long time to discuss how the leaking of the Rainbow Five war plans in December of 1941 affected Hitler to declare war on the US. These plans were considered a huge factor at the time, but the incident was forgotten in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack. However, German documents reveal that the fact that Amercian newspapers reported that the US was planning a ten million man army to invade Europe led Hitler to declare war on the US while it was still reeling from Pearl Harbor rather than wait for a build up.
Here is where Fleming engages in some speculation. No one KNOWS who leaked Rainbow Five. But in interviewing General Wedemeyer who WROTE it, Fleming does the Sherlock Holmes routine of eliminating all the other suspects leaving only FDR as a logical choice. Fleming plays fair here by showing his method and letting us draw our own conclusion.
This book will undoubtedly give Doris Kearns Goodwin a heart attack. Though even in her worshipful book "No Ordinary Time" she admits much of the facts that Fleming lays out, her spin is that all of this deception was "leadership" and it showed FDR's brilliance. Fleming thinks that 50 years after the fact, it might be time to cut through the war time propaganda and take a clear eyed look at FDR. It was certainly controversial at the time-- so much so that FDR barely hung on to power within his own party and lost it in the Congress for the last term of his presidency. But as Fleming points out, when Roosevelt died, and especially after a brilliant bureaucrat added his name to the day's casualty list, talking about all this became thought of as bad form.
It is forgotten in the haze of wartime propaganda, Norman Rockwell paintings, and Hollywood movies, that this country was as politically divided during WWII as it is today, and that there were legitimate arguments against the say FDR conducted his policies-- both domestic AND foreign. A 1944 poll showed that if the war ended before the election, FDR would get only 30% of the vote!
The biggest of these, and the one that really justifies the title of the book, is the policy of Unconditional Surrender. While it was well sold to the American public (and to school textbook writers) this policy undoubtedly lengthened the war, and caused hundred of thousands of extra Allied casualties. The driving force behind the policy was the vision of the New Dealers for a worldwide order, which could live with a Soviet empire, but NOT a British Empire, or a democratic industrialized Germany. The New Dealers' plan was to divide Germany into seven little demilitarized agrarian states, in a Carthigian sort of eternal subjugation. That, of course, was just fine with Stalin.
Luckily, Truman became president before this kind of insanity could take place, or Stalin would have been the next dictator to roll his tanks down the Champs Elyses. But lots of people died for this policy before Truman nixed it-- including, Fleming shows, a bevy of German Resistance leaders who, as Churchill later admitted, were betrayed by the Allies, and who rank as some of the 20th Century's greatest heroes.
If this book is "revisionist" than it is revisionist in the finest tradition-- challenging the consensus opinion. It is NOT, however, revistionist in the postmodern, truth is what you make of it, sense that defiles the study of history, rather than enlightening it.
"The New Dealers' War" is a great book by one of our very finest historians-- who, by the way, did not try to "rehabilitate the villanous Aaron Burr," but showed the WHOLE person of Burr, not just the cartoon, and who illuminated Jefferson and Hamilton's slanderous role in pushing Burr in the unfortunate roar he chose. Instead of ad hominem, this book should-- and will-- provoke legitimate discussion. Good!
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104 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Memory isn't history' ... but this sure is, June 2, 2001
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This summer, millions of American filmgoers will see, in the new 'Pearl Harbor' movie, a portrait of Franklin Roosevelt so hagiographic that even many of his supporters are embarrassed. For anyone willing to expend a little effort to find a more accurate portrait of That Man in the White House, I hugely recommend this huge book.
Fleming's philosophy, explained early on, is that 'memory is not history.' Although many Americans -- particularly members of the so-called 'greatest generation' and their children -- still have fond memories of FDR, rank him among history's great leaders in war and peace, and defend his memory and legacy, Fleming argues that these rose-colored memories are not substitutes for fact. FDR was not a demigod. He was a man: a fallible man, a devious man, an arrogant and ambitious man, a political man in both the best and worst senses of that term, and -- for the last years of his life -- a very seriously ill man.
FDR, Fleming argues, embodied both sides of 'the profound dichotomy in American life,' the tension between the idealism of the Declaration of Independence and the myth of the Founding, and 'the often brutal realism' and hard-edged practicality that Americans have shown in times of crisis and opportunity like the settling of the frontier. Fleming argues Roosevelt manipulated both sides of the dichotomy to maneuver America into the war on the side of the Allies. The New Dealers in his administration supported him in this, hoping to make the war a crusade for a 'New Deal for the World,' the way the First World War was a crusade for democracy.
Once America was in the war, Roosevelt vacillated between the two poles of the 'profound dichotomy.' On the one hand, he publicly declared that 'Dr New Deal' had been replaced by 'Dr Win-The-War' as the physician who could cure the nations' ills, and sometimes seemed to have viewed the New Deal more as an electoral ploy than an ideological commitment (After one Roosevelt decision, New Dealer Harry Hopkins tellingly fumed, 'The New Deal has once again been sacrificed to the war effort.' Hopkins wanted the war to serve his ideological goals, not come ahead of them.)
On the other hand, Roosevelt clung with grim tenacity to his 'unconditional surrender' formula, despite anguished pleas from his military commanders, Winston Churchill, the anti-Hitler German resistance, and even the Pope that all he was doing was fueling the Nazis' propaganda machine, undermining any hope of an effective resistance, and guaranteeing millions of additional casualties.
Fleming traces the administration's internal battles between the New Dealers and the pragmatists -- battles that climaxed, in his view, in the 1944 jettisoning of Henry Wallace from the Democrats' vice-presidential nomination, the fight over the Allied terror-bombing of German and Japanese civilians (The Allies 'must exceed the Nazis in fury, ruthlessness, and efficiency,' Hopkins wrote.) culminating in the decision to use the atomic bomb, and Roosevelt's consistent, naïve belief that the Soviet Union could become a trustworthy post-war ally, if only he could 'get at' Stalin with his famous charm. He was reinforced in his belief by ideologically motivated naifs like Henry Wallace and, as the Venona transcripts later proved, Soviet agents in the inner circles of American government. Fleming argues that here, too, Europe paid the price for the New Dealers' blinkered view of history and politics.
If Fleming has a hero in this book, it is clearly Missouri Senator Harry Truman. No fan of Roosevelt, Truman and his Senate Committee investigated the administration's handling of the war effort and sharply criticized the New Dealers for their ideologically based running of the war effort. Of course, Truman would soon find himself tangled in the New Dealers' web, forced as president to cope with the consequences of the New Dealers' war.
Despite its heft, I found this an exciting and surprisingly fast read (the type is fairly large, and there is a lot of leading between the lines, so you shouldn't be intimidated by the size). I found myself saddened that I had finished the book -- a rare experience in non-fiction reading. Many 'greatest generation'-ers, plus left-liberals and other partisans of Big Government, will not enjoy seeing their most sacred cow gored so effectively. But this excellent book is a valuable (and much needed) antidote to the waves of pro-FDR idolatry we've been subjected to for more than half a century, and an important reminder of the memories we've suppressed in our nostalgic remembrings of the 'Good War.'
Very, very highly recommended.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting View of a Crucial Time, July 3, 2006
Before reading The New Dealer's War, I read most of the reviews here, both negative and positive so that I might have a better idea of what to expect from the book. What I didn't find is the knee-jerk anti-Roosevelt bias that many of this book's detractors ascribe to the author. Some of those reviewers seem to be the type of FDR cheerleaders who automatically deny any suggestion that their hero could have possibly known about Japanese intentions vis-a-vis Pearl Harbor in advance, but who are so partisan that they would eagerly assert that the current president was aware in advance of the 9-11 attacks. In fact, history shows that FDR knew about the impending Japanese attack and future historians may well discover that Bush knew in advance of Al-Qaida's plans as well.

Just because we have representative government in the US doesn't mean that our leaders in both major parties are above scheming, conniving, and lying in order to steer events a certain direction. Hitler did it crudely and transparently in Austria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia several times before discarding all diplomatic niceities and blatantly showing the world his true intentions. As a statesman, FDR understood the challenge that Hitler and the Japanese posed to freedom, and used every political skill he had to drag a reluctant and recalcitrant public into the war that he knew we would have to fight sooner or later anyhow.

Anyway, The New Dealer's War is not at all just about our entry into the war, so the commentary of the most stridently negative reviews leads me to believe that many of those reviewers did not actually read the book, but only skimmed it for any tidbit which might reinforce a pre-conceived negative view.

There are factional struggles between groups of advisers in every administration as competing factions vie for the president's approval of their policy proposals. What this book is about is about the internecine struggles within the Roosevelt administration, not about how FDR got us into the war. What makes the story compelling is that these struggles were taking part at a crucial juncture in US and world history and that their outcome would determine the postwar course of both the US and the world.

Remember that in the 1930s and 1940s, the sugarcoated view of the Soviet system, promoted in the US by Stalinist lackeys such as Walter Duranty, appealed to a great many people. Many New Dealers were zealous advocates of a command economy and tried very hard to steer a seemingly sympathetic Roosevelt their way. But there was also a group of advisers in the Roosevelt administration tied to business, and to businessmen a command economy is anathema. Thus the struggle between the idealists to the left of FDR and the pragmatists to his right. Fleming shows how FDR, as a shrewd politician, played both sides off against one another and was able to keep the focus of his later years on the important goal of winning the war. There were political victories and tragic mistakes, Fleming gives Roosevelt his due when it is deserved and points out his errors and flaws when he needs to.

The bottom line is, don't take any of these reviews as gospel. First read this thoroughly researched, well-written, and interesting view of a crucial time then decide for yourself what is proven or plausible and what is not.
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50 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, May 13, 2001
By 
Rusty Greenland (Virginia Beach VA) - See all my reviews
As the son of a WW2 veteran, I grew up with all the conventional wisdom about the war. Still, something didn't seem right. How, for example, did the Soviets take such advantage of the US? How did they gain control of E. Europe? Much of this has remained obscure, and few dissenters from the "party line" have appeared on the scene. One reviewer urges all to bypass this book and read the slavishly liberal New Deal historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Anybody who has seen her on MAcNeil Lehrer newshour knows that she is a "professional liberal" and hardly creditable as an historian. Several years ago I read David Fromkin's book, "In the Time of the Americans", which is mere New Deal political correctness, and doesn't answer any questions. Finally, Thomas J. Fleming has delivered a book that gives the explanations. He demythologizes FDR and his administration...although he is much too kind about FDR's performance during the Great Depression, and also much to kind to the fatally altruistic Herbert Hoover, who was really just a Democrat in Republican clothing. This book will deeply offend any New Deal Democrat, because it exposes the New Deal as failure and fakery...anyone who has been to college knows that New Dealers took over most faculties and we're not rid of them yet...so it's hard to get anything objective on modern history from academia. The history that Fleming is writing needed to be written long ago, and this is the history that will survive, once all the New Deal historians have finally been exposed for charlatans. Don't waste your time reading Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Dallek, or David Fromkin. Read this book. It's extremely well written, too. Well worth the price.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Side of FDR and his New Dealers, July 31, 2007
By 
R. DelParto "Rose2" (Virginia Beach, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Dealers' War: FDR And The War Within World War II (Paperback)
Upon the heels of the Second World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and those who helped to breathe life to the various programs that drove the US out of the Great Depression saw various programs quickly fade in light of US involvement during World War II. Thomas Fleming writes of FDR and the men associated and shaped these socio-economic programs in his book, THE NEW DEALER'S WAR: FDR AND THE WAR WITHIN WORLD WAR II. The book contains detailed accounts about FDR's presidency, which strips the demigod image, and rather portrays a gravely ill man who gave one of the shortest inaugural speeches, five minutes, in American history. The premise of Fleming's examination focuses on two fronts, FDR's plan for an unconditional surrender to Japan and the New Dealers' never ending battle on the home front between politicians and businessmen to maintain their reign within the government.

Fleming writes with much fluidity as he revises this part of American history that as usually been painted as a flawless picture. THE NEW DEALER'S WAR reveals the enormous distrust in politics and broken alliances that occurred during FDR's presidency, and numerous adversaries that Roosevelt negotiated and argued with interspersed with historic events on the battlefield in Europe and the Pacific. Indeed, Roosevelt and his New Dealers, Henry Wallace, Harold Ickes, and Henry Morgenthau, fought an ongoing battle in order maintain the status quo in the government and the political arena.

While reading the book, Fleming suggests that history is not memory. Thus he draws emphasis on the romanticized version of Roosevelt's presidency before World War II, but magnifies the quick downward spiral amidst the changing political and international landscape during the beginning and height of World War II. One of the interesting aspects of this book is that Fleming fittingly and subtly shows Truman emerging from the shadows upon Roosevelt's passing in the concluding chapters; indeed, he quickly cleaned house and passed legislation geared towards social and civil reform.

THE NEW DEALER'S WAR is recommended reading that tells another side of one of the most pivotal periods in American history. Fleming's narrative provides an interesting perspective of the New Deal era that goes beyond textbook depictions, and shows how a nation progressed politically and economically during a time when the world was at conflict at home and abroad.
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39 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disasterous Policy Not Often Mentioned, November 2, 2001
Although it has been a long time since I have had any great respect for the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, this book gave me insights into an aspect of his presidency which I had thought more successful. That is, the conduct of the war. I was already familiar with the disastrous effects of his economic policies during the depression which resulted in 1937's economic plunge. Also, I was familiar to some extent with the manipulations on FDR's part that led up to the war, his health problems, and to the disaster of the Yalta agreements. However, this book not only delved deeper into these subjects, but put them into context. For me, though, the real eye opener in this book was its revelation of the affect of FDR's stated policy of "unconditional surrender". I, like most people had never thought it through or even had questioned it. I did not even know there had been any controversy within the military about this policy. And I certainly had never realized the great consequences.

FDR made his demand for "unconditional surrender" at Casablanca the very day that the eventual defeat of Germany became obvious to most, if not all, of the German officers. It was the day in January of 1943 that the German army outside of Stalingrad was finally split in two. The day that its loss became inevitable. Until then, the Germans had a chance of defeating the Russians, after that, defeat was inevitable. (I had a friend who was a doctor in the army of Germany's allied Hungarian army at Stalingrad. He was one of less than 10% who returned. You could still see in his face, as he remembered the experience, the great horror and sadness that he must have gone through). Though there were to be many attempts made to oust the Nazis by German officers, they were never able to get the majority of officers to support them because of the "unconditional surrender" policy. Moreover, the attempts made by these officers to broker a peace agreement with the allies were always stopped by FDR. And these attempts were not made by low level officers. Admiral Canaris, head of German military intelligence, tried repeatedly and was eventually executed for doing so by Hitler. He had said to one of his deputies, General Erwin Lahousen upon learning of the demand: "You know, my dear Lahousen, the students of history will not need to trouble their heads after this war, as they did after the last, to determine who was guilty of starting it. The case is however different when we consider guilt for prolonging the war. I believe that the other side have now disarmed us of the last weapon with which we could have ended it. Unconditional surrender, no, our generals will not swallow that. Now I cannot see any solution." Major General Ira C. Eaker, commander of the U.S. Eighth Air Force seems to have agreed. He said: "A child knew that once you said this (unconditional surrender) to the Germans, they were going to fight to the last man. There wasn't a man who was actually fighting in the war whom I ever met who didn't think that this was about as stupid an operation as you could find." However, there was one man, who upon hearing of FDR's demand was euphoric. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda chief, called it "world historical tomfoolery of the first order". He admitted to a colleague, "I should never have been able to think up so rousing a slogan. If our Western enemies tell us, we won't deal with you, our only aim is to destroy you . . . how can any German, whether he likes it or not, do anything but fight on with all his strength?"

So the war went on for more than three years. Millions more died. Cities were fire bombed and destroyed. The Soviets invaded Eastern Europe and remained for fifty years. All because FDR, almost completely on his own and without consulting either his military advisors or diplomats, decided on "unconditional surrender" as a policy. Where did he get this idea? He seems to have gotten it from a misreading of history. He seems to have thought that Grant had required Lee to surrender unconditionally (which he had not). However, even then Lee only had the authority to surrender his army, not a whole nation. In the history of the world previous to WW2 the only previous demand for unconditional surrender had been Rome's demand of Carthage.
I think that this book is one which should be read by any serious student of history and especially those interested in the history of the 20th Century. The book begins with three quotes on history and the personalities which make it. One is especially appropriate. It is a quote from Harry Truman, the president that followed FDR and had to deal with many of the problems he had created. Unlike FDR, Truman knew history. He wrote: "There is nothing new in the world but the history you do not know." This is certainly history worth knowing.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When The Legend Conflicts With The Truth, Print The Truth, July 6, 2004
By 
Parker Benchley "Edward Garea" (Branchville, New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Dealers' War: FDR And The War Within World War II (Paperback)
There have been many excellent reviews already written about this remarkable book and all of them are worth your time. I, for may part, would just like to add this coda, quoted directly from the book itself, and a passage that I believe speaks volumes about America at war:
"Meanwhile, the mixture of memory and history that constituted America's vision of World War II underwent a remarkable transformation. Forgotten were the reluctance to take up arms, the double-talk Franklin D. Roosevelt used to conceal is intention to make war on Germany -- revealed so graphically in the leak of Rainbow Five - and the provocative politics that lured Japan into the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also lost to memory was the ferocious antagonism between Roosevelt and Congress. Perhaps most forgotten were the consequences of the policy of unconditional surrender and the hateful tactics it legitimized, terror bombing of civilians and the use of the atomic bomb.
Instead, the deepening realization of Hitler's campaign of extermination against the Jews, which only a few Americans understood during the war, justified in many people's minds unconditional surrender, the ruthless air war, and even the atomic bomb. The global conflict slowly became the Good War, something that few of its participants would have called it at the time."
Does this sound familiar? And yet it has been the underpinning of every American entry into war since (and including) the American Revolution. Reading this book made me shudder as to what might have happened if, say, we were not so successful in winning this war. Suppose it had bogged down over seven to eight years? And what if FDR, in spite of his chicanery, was not as resolute in pursuing his goal? FDR's only failure in handling the war came back to haunt his successor, Truman: the underestimation of Joseph Stalin. FDR though he could win Stalin over by dint of his forceful personality, the way he had with so many others. Fleming does a great job of pointing out the ability of Harry Truman in not only bringing peace, but in keeping the balance of power. Were it not for Truman's realization of the facts after Potsdam, Stalin might well have ended up as the hands-down winner. Keeping Stalin out of Japan turned out in retrospect to be one of the crucial events of the war. Fleming does every historian and would-be historian a solid turn by taking World War II from the clouds of myth and grounding it firmly in reality.
One other note: the book's writing style is such that it is a sheer pleasure to read, which I attribute to the fact Fleming is also an accomplished novelist and thus has a way of making dry facts palatable to the mind. A must-have for anyone interested in American history.
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33 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fleming's Political Instincts, May 18, 2001
By 
Thomas Fleming's credentials as a 21st century observer of times past, need no defense. He is an accredited historian, an award winning novelist, and an astute analyst of the geopolitical winds that inexorably sweep over us. His latest book, "The New Dealer's War...." is an insightful investigation of that fateful "FDR era", a period which has indelibly left its marks on the face of America and the world. Having lived through the period of the Great Depression, WWII and, quite obviously, what has ensued since, I take issue with those who would suggest that Mr. Fleming's book is "revisionist". To the contrary, in my view, he has expressed what so many have deeply and secretly felt for so long but, about which they have kept their own counsel---WWII and its after effects was not a matter of fate. Indeed, the the real revisionist would have us believe that FDR was "as pure as Pilate's wife". Mr. Fleming' book proves otherwise.
And let us not overlook the unique political perspective that Mr. Fleming brought to bear in writing this book.As the son of a Democratic leader, his youth was spent in watching, learning and remembering the chicanery that emanated from the legendary reign of Frank "I am the law" Hague, in Jersey City, N.J. His ability to perceive the flaws in the FDA era, as presented in his book, was thus sharply honed by his experience in observing Democratic "politics" of the era. His leap from accurately analyzing the mentality of Frank Hague, to accurately analyzing that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a short one.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adult, clear -eyed view, June 26, 2001
By A Customer
It is not surprising that this book, which seeks to apply adult and objective standards to events that have already assumed mythical proportions,has generated such fervid hair-tearing among those most entranced by the New Deal mythological mantra created (as Fleming clearly describes in the book) as part of the liberal wing of the Democratic party's attempt to deify itself and preserve the crumbling fabric of New Deal programs at the onset of WWII. Anyone with the remotest real world experience of politics and government will recognize the plausibility of Fleming's description of an administration in its third term trying to restrain the entropic forces that arise after eight years of largely unfettered power. I am astonished by both the stupidity and the political naivety of the editorial reviews cited from (apparently) academics (although one correctly raises concerns about over-reliance on secondary sources); the reader's reviews demonstrate a much more mature and intelligent understanding of this period.
Despite the wailings of myth worshipping New Dealers and the (less prevalent) I-told-you-so's of conspiracy theorists, this book is NOT anti-FDR. If you hold your passions in check for even a moment, it becomes clear that this is a very clear-eyed picture of the forces acting on, and the responses of, a highly capable and intellectually devious man caught in the web spun by the history of his own time in office. He makes mistakes, serious ones, but the reasoning that led him to them is portrayed clearly and without passions; he was sick and declining (after all, he did die in office) and it is fair commentary (and vital history) to recognize the issues associated with his decline. Harry Truman looks very good, but it is clear that in part this is due to the fact that he did not depend upon Roosevelt for patronage and could afford (indeed required for survival) his independence. Wendell Willkie and Henry Wallace come out less well, but then again, both men were naive and more than a little foolish.
This is an EXCELLENT book; complicated adult motives are attributed to complicated adults; complex and unpredictable results arise from complex situations. In short, this is history, not myth - the story has many eddies and cross currents and does not lend itself to tear-in-the-eye maudlinity aboout WWII. It demonstrates, in an adult fashion, why the war WAS so important - that despite doubts, political opposition, ideological posturing and mistakes of emphasis, timing and goals the administration recognized the fundamental correctness of the fight and saw it through to a triumphant conclusion.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Work, July 10, 2001
By A Customer
There are truths about Franklin Roosevelt that many, especially the American Left, just don't want to face. This astounding book will likely receive harsh criticism from the literary elite because it forces them to take a cold look at America's only president who found himself unable to let anything other than death loosen his grip on the reigns of power.
For example, Fleming documents FDR insistence on putting Asians into concentration camps over the objection of J. Edgar Hoover. That's right, J. Edgar Hoover objected. Despite this, FDR sent Asian people to jail simply for being Asian. Doris Kearns Goodwin's apologetics notwithstanding, this was not the act of a "man of the people."
Bravo to Mr. Fleming. Keep 'em coming.
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The New Dealers' War: FDR And The War Within World War II
The New Dealers' War: FDR And The War Within World War II by Thomas Fleming (Paperback - June 6, 2002)
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