- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (April 8, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 046501982X
- ISBN-13: 978-0465019823
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War 1st Edition
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Williamson Murray, author of A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War
"David Kaiser has written an outstanding book on Franklin Roosevelt's strategic course in the dark days, from the late 1930s to America's entrance into the Second World War. Among its many strong points is a revealing and persuasive reconsideration of Roosevelt's strategic thinking during this period. Above all Kaiser's portrait underlines that without the president's wisdom and political sagacity, the Germans might well have won the war. This is a book that anyone with an interest in that terrible conflict must read."
Jeremi Suri, author of Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama
Franklin Roosevelt remains the most important and puzzling American war leader of the last century. David Kaiser's fascinating book offers powerful and relevant insights into how Roosevelt transformed an isolationist country with an ill-prepared military into a united and formidable fighting force. Kaiser shows how Roosevelt anticipated dangerous developments, how he invented new procedures for war preparations, and how he persuaded a skeptical public to fight an extended war. Roosevelt displayed a mix of strategic foresight, political acumen, and public charisma that our country has not seen again. Kaiser's book is vitally important because it demystifies Roosevelt, making him a realistic model for our own times.”
[A] judicious, detailed and soundly researched history.... Kaiser has brought us a careful, nuanced, credible account of the events and complex issues surrounding America's entry into World War II, which, however historical fashions change, is likely to wear well over the years.”
Wall Street Journal
Mr. Kaiser offers a tightly focused examination of Roosevelt's foreign policy from the defeat of France in May 1940 to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 Most will value Mr. Kaiser's clearly written narrative, which focuses on the improvisational planning of the president and the men around him.”
Others have written about this period, but few with his precision and insight His thoroughly researched and well-informed narrative of what happened on the road to war makes the book fully worth the cover price.”
Charleston Post & Courier
Engaging and excellent.”
Offering a fresh interpretation of a frequently treated topic Because of such thorough research presented in lucid, straightforward prose, Kaiser's first-rate account offers material that even specialists in the field might find surprising and provocative.”
This is a fascinating read, and if you are a lover of history, you'll have a wonderful time.”
Military History Quarterly
An extraordinary book.... For those interested in American strategy during the run-up to World War II, this is a must read.”
Battles and Book Reviews
An interesting and compelling account of the events in America during the 18 months prior to American entry into WWII.... I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in World War II, but especially to people who think they are familiar with America's role in that war. An outstanding book.”
Kaiser's research is both comprehensive and illuminating....An admiring, richly textured portrait of a leader confronting the unthinkable.”
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Top Customer Reviews
David Kaiser explains all this in fascinating detail. He makes you feel the urgency that motivated the president, his advisors, and not a few of his political opponents. “Not since the British had landed their forces on Long Island in 1776 had the United States faced such a potentially critical situation,” he says of the country’s prospects in the grim spring of 1940. At that point, as German forces swept through the Low Countries into France, America was still a year and a half away from joining the conflict. But Roosevelt had already been getting the nation ready since the beginning of his second term in 1937.
You can’t appreciate the drama of America’s role in World War II or its ultimate success without understanding the backstory that preceded the actual combat. In Kaiser’s retelling, that momentous, complex series of events is its own nail-biting epic.
The premise requires FDR as the primary agent who through the force of his will persevered from long before even the German invasion of Poland until finally the Japanese attacked the US at Pearl Harbor. It was his single-minded purpose to engage the popular will behind government mobilization to fight a global war involving maximum utilization of national manpower and resources.
Roosevelt early on understood that democracy as a way of life and as a core set of values was under attack by the facists. He also understood involvement by the US could not be limited to defense of our shores or even the Western Hemisphere but would mean fighting the Germans on the European mainland and defeating the Japanese in the Pacific. Kaiser's story does a good job in supporting or perhaps proving this premise.
It also tells about FDR's indirect methods of managing people. He had to restrain those who wanted to drag the US into the war until the time was right. But he had to restrain them while enlisting their passion and experience in mobilizing for war. At the same time he had to win over the isolationists. He could only do this by letting the flow of events outside our hemisphere erode isolationist resistance. This was a Herculean feat and the fact that FDR was successful validates the premise even more.
FDR understood that the core of mobilization is national will. National will was mobilized late but first there had to be a lot of preparation before we could wage war. He used the same New Deal devices he had previously used to combat the Depression to get the country ready for war in advance of the willingness to fight the war.
I had thought the US was more unprepared for participation than it really was. This book taught me about our preparation. I also thought we were more surprised than we actually were by the Japansese attack. We just didn't know how and where the blows would fall.
The book is a chronologic account of the events involving primarily FDR and the executive branch in the years before Pearl Harbor. The events speak for themselves. The book is well-referenced.
The only criticism I have is the use of a device about the "Prophetic" generations and particularly the "Missionary" generation" concept Kaiser borrowed. I thought this device was not necessary and did not stand as a reason to explain how well FDR and his generation coped with the crisis thrust on them. I am willing to let the deeds speak for themselves.
Although Mr. Kaiser’s efforts are evident I did not come away from this book that much more knowledgeable than when I started. Kaiser should have focused more on the Missionary Generation and its wider impact rather than alluding that many of the protagonists were from that era. Personally, I would suggest Michael Fullilove’s “Rendezvous with Destiny” for a neater perspective on what was running through FDR’s mind and how he manipulated others to execute his master plan during the same period.