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FDR Goes to War: How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, and Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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"FDR Goes to War . . . is the latest and perhaps the most devastating critique of FDR. It is painfully relevant to our current president." -- Thomas Sowell
"FDR Goes to War is a page-turning tour de force -- and a scholarly one, at that -- of the politics and economics of America's involvement in WWII. Be prepared to rethink much of what you think you know about FDR, the war, and the post-Depression U.S. economy." --Don Bordreaux, Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University
"In New Deal or Raw Deal? Burt Folsom exposed FDR's failed policies during the Great Depression. Now, in FDR Goes to War, he pulls the curtain back even further. Burt and Anita Folsom have produced a book that should be read by all Americans. This is the real history you do not find in textbooks." -- James P. Duffy, author of Lindbergh Vs. Roosevelt
"Few in the history profession have done more to shed light on the real Franklin Delano Roosevelt than Burt Folsom. With FDR Goes to War, Folsom and his wife Anita educate Americans on the facts we should have known but were never taught. You will find this book both shocking and refreshing." -- Lawrence W. Reed, president, Foundation for Economic Education
"A compelling look at a fascinating man in a devastating war. This is the FDR concealed for over half a century by liberal academics and biased journalists. You will learn a lot from this engaging and readable book." -- Paul Kengor, professor of political science, Grove City College, and author of Dupes
About the Author
Burton W. Folsom, Jr., Ph.D., a professor of history at Hillsdale College in Michigan, is the author of several books. A regular columnist for The Freeman, he has also written for The Wall Street Journal, American Spectator, Policy Review, and Human Events.
Anita Folsom has pursued a career in both politics and the teaching of history. Anita served as county chairman for the Reagan/Mitch McConnell campaigns in 1984, and she worked for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell for two years after he was elected. She currently blogs at BurtFolsom.com.
Top customer reviews
Most standard WWII history will cover the mistakes of Hitler, The excellent book (Why Germany Nearly Won by Steven Mercatante) details this. Other mistakes of Hitler are discussed in many other sources like the WWII the Battlefield series. Also, the mistakes of England (appeasement) and Stalin (his trusting Hitler and the purges of his top generals) are analyzed by many a historian. But not so for FDR who is regarded as a sainted figure by many. This book analyzes why the US was so unprepared for war.
There are individual historians who are critical of FDR; however the standard history texts or documentaries treat FDR and US during WWII as something out of the Walton’s or a Ken Burns documentary of everyone working together under the leadership of FDR. The author discusses the dark side of things and shows that the home front was not what that is generally portrayed.
Roosevelt spent money of work projects for political reasons instead of arms, also details facts on why Truman was select VP in 1944. The Truman commission, which is not discussed in most WWII history. I read about it in Caro book on LBJ. There are also many internal problems (labor strikes and the many government agencies a great deal of regulation and hardship) that are not talked about. That there was a major coal strike in 1943 has never been discussed by most historians on the subject of WWII.
The book could be more detailed and also could be more specific in covering WWII, but the other factors of Japanese interment; wiretapping, Russians and taxes are also issues that most historians don’t cover. If the author wanted to write a good book about is he should have titled it “Why the US nearly lost WWII” There were many warnings that WWII was coming when he was contacted that England and France wanted to buy US arms after the German takeover of Czechoslovakia. By then England and France started to rearm. Then after Germany invaded Poland in the fall of 1939, which officially started WWII. FDR didn’t start to rearm he announced it during a fireside chat (after seeing the army starved for funds) until the fall of France in the fall of 1940. WWII was well underway, Japan was in China and it was two years before he should have begun. Then a great deal of the new arms were given away by lend lease.
Most historians discuss FDR knowledge of the breaking of the Japanese code before Pearl Harbor, but state that no one did know where the attack was to happen, however, the problem was that FDR and most in the defense establishment completely underestimated the Japanese. This mistake was as great as Stalin trusting Hitler and purges of generals. FDR mistake was limiting defense and underestimating the Japanese. He was trying to enter the war without the weapons to fight it. If you doubt this FDR was told by Admiral Richardson in the fall of 1940 the truth but FDR did not want to hear it. This was done because for two reasons dislike for business (which included high taxes, and funding the New Deal which was a political base for FDR.
There is a book which I enjoyed reading that relates to it in “Why the Allies Won” by Richard Overy which is mentioned by the author. The Allies won the Second World War because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power and turned the moral energies of the people into an effective will to win. Mercateante stated in his book that Germany lost because they were not able to incorportate the available resource to win. Folsom states that Roosevelt hated business so much that before the war they were taxed and attacked, but once war started he needed them. That the men are fighting won the war but the men who FDR attacked created the weapons and worked together to win the war. WWII showed that a nation is only as strong as its industry and people. Something the current President should know.
It is disheartening to think that this scenerio seems fated to be replayed and that the animus towards basic free enterprise benefits is so ingraned in the fabric of so many of our politicans and sadly, our fellow citizens.
I cannot say that a reader will enjoy this book, but it should be that reader's obligaton to read it and learn from its lessons.