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Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 Hardcover – March 26, 2013
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“In Those Angry Days, journalist-turned-historian Lynne Olson captures [the] period in a fast-moving, highly readable narrative punctuated by high drama. It’s . . . popular history at its most riveting, detailing what the author rightfully characterizes as ‘a brutal, no-holds-barred battle for the soul of the nation.’ It is sure to captivate readers seeking a deeper understanding of how public opinion gradually shifted as America moved from bystander to combatant in the war to preserve democracy.”—Associated Press
“Filled with fascinating anecdotes and surprising twists . . . With this stirring book, Lynne Olson confirms her status as our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy.”—Madeleine K. Albright
“Olson has shone a dramatic light on the complexities of the issue and skillfully portrayed the protagonists of an almost forgotten crisis in American history.”—Newsweek/The Daily Beast
“[An] absorbing chronicle . . . [Olson] doesn’t so much revisit a historical period as inhabit it; her scenes flicker as urgently as a newsreel. While highlighting Lindbergh and FDR as its stars, Those Angry Days embraces a cast of characters far beyond the book’s title characters.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Masterfully describes America’s conflicting opinions before Pearl Harbor . . . a comprehensive take on another era of angry divisions.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Spanning the years 1939 to 1941, Lynne Olson’s masterful book relives American’s debate over whether to go to war—a bitter clash personified by FDR and Charles Lindbergh.”—Parade
“A fully fleshed-out portrait of the battle between the interventionists and isolationists in the eighteen months leading up to Pearl Harbor . . . a vivid, colorful evocation of a charged era.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Humanizing public events with private strains . . . Olson delivers a fluid rendition of a tempestuous time.”—Booklist
“[Olson] manages to keep her complex, character-filled story on keel as she describes the forces bearing down on FDR’s administration while the world slipped into war. . . . Delicious tales abound.”—Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
Either of those positions is an honorable place to be, and it's a perfectly good thing to debate them. But this is America and we don't quite do things that way. There were other groups--less honorable--who attached themselves to these positions. It didn't take long for racists, profiteers and zealots to begin questioning the motives of the other groups. Over the course of months, charges of Communism, Fascism, Socialism, anti-Semitism began to be hurled back and forth. News outlets affiliated themselves with one side, issuing scurrilous charges against their opponents. It is not hard to find strong parallels in later events. Debates around Vietnam and Iraq resonate with the same fervor and distrust. Olson doesn't make this point directly. She doesn't need to.
The author has chosen two protagonists to carry much of the narrative. Roosevelt is an obvious choice.Read more ›
The overwhelming isolationist feeling in the USA prior to WW II is not that well known to the public. The history books talk about the Great Depression and jump to WW II. This is the story of what happened in the USA between those two great landmarks of American History.
Most Americans probably don't realize how angry the American public was with the British and French after WW I. Great numbers of people felt that the USA had been tricked into getting involved in that "War to End All Wars." Huge majorities of American voters were even angrier with France and Britain than they were with the defeated Germans. Most people on this side of the pond felt that WW II was the direct result of how poorly the victors had treated the Germans after the conflict ended. Their unfair treatment of the German people sowed the seeds of for another great conflict.
This book deals with the two most popular personalities in America at the time. FDR was at the height of his popularity as the pain of the Great Depression lessened and an unknown farm boy had become a worldwide hero because of his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Charles Lindbergh's "Lone Eagle" adventure provided the world with a brief respite from the everyday problems left by the worldwide depression.
Lindbergh was a shy, private person who never quite adjusted to the fame that descended on the young man after his flight. But he became and remained the most famous adventurer on the planet.Read more ›
The subtitle might lead you to believe that the book focuses mainly on President Roosevelt (FDR) and Lindbergh, but, in fact, the cast of characters is quite large. Olson does a good job bringing this large group to life and describes them with considerable empathy. She helps us to understand all the different reasons people wanted to stay out of the war in Europe:
o Most Americans felt protected by the sheer distance from Europe.
o Many felt that Britain had tricked them into the First World War and that that conflict had achieved nothing of value.
o Many Americans were utterly blind to the evil of Nazism or equated it with the evils of British imperialism. Indeed, many military leaders were resolute Anglophobes.
o Once Germany invaded the Soviet Union, many Americans saw little reason to favor Stalin over Hitler.
o Many Americans were sincere pacifists, opposed to war on principle.
America's transition from scrupulous neutral to formal belligerent took over two years, a span that must have felt eternal to the beleaguered British. Knowing that Roosevelt wanted to keep Britain from falling to the Germans and then watching as he, time after time, delays providing real assistance can be exasperating to the reader, as it must have been to Churchill and his countrymen.
Lindbergh, naturally, comes off looking bad. He had avoided public life so scrupulously beforehand, and for good reason: the press hounded him and his family mercilessly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rather breathless and sometimes superficial. Example: the Victory Plan/Rainbow 5 affair. Other analysis by historians in the 80s tends to support the idea that FDR "leaked"... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Wine guy who reads
One of the most instructive and well-written books on America before world-war-two. Well researched also. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tony Meyer
I grew up hearing about all of the famous people in this book without having any idea anything about their lives. Read morePublished 1 month ago by CliffAnderson
Is politics and world affairs more contentious today than ever before? Are politicians clear-sighted about how to deal with future challenges? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joseph Meth
At the beginning of the book Ms. Olson quotes Arthur Schlesinger's remark that the isolationist debate of 1937-41 was uglier and more toxic than any other -- including the hawks v. Read morePublished 2 months ago by CJA
This was eye-opening and compelling history--fascinating to read and very well written.Published 2 months ago by Dorothy