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Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (1940-1945) Kindle Edition
|Length: 594 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
For some who might want to know more about the actual military engagements in Europe and the Pacific, you might be a bit disappointed. This book is more concerned with strategies developed by Roosevelt and other leaders for both fronts, where priority should be given, how the alliance worked together and so forth. Roosevelt's respect for public opinion was certainly a major factor for his early hesitancy to rush to the aid of Great Britain. Indeed, Roosevelt was seemingly always guided by popular opinion, though I think he probably was ahead of it in ways.
Some of the interesting facets of this book that helped shed some insight for me on Roosevelt's foreign policy was his belief that China had to be a major player in the postwar world, even though he perhaps overestimated China's military capabilities under Chiang Kai-shek. His understanding of the importance of trying to keep good relations with Russia came through as well. His anti-colonialism was often used to tweak Churchill, though as Burns stated, Roosevelt would never go too far in the risk of jeopardizing allied partnership.Read more ›
FDR's dedication to the well-being of the United States in WWII is evidenced by the fact that to start with, he didn't want a third term in office come 1940. Indeed, such aspirations were frowned upon in the political community. It did not stop him; as he saw it, it was his duty and obligation to the American people to keep familiar leadership in time of international turmoil. Other obstacles: struggles to arm allies, constant planning and meeting with allied leaders, and gradual, failing health. Burns also shows FDR's political savvy, using the utilization for war to the nation's advantage. Many unemployed workers were put back to work, which helped shift American industry into an overdrive that didn't stop for decades. Vision: as a disciple of Woodrow Wilson, he had a vision of a United Nations. One that he did not live to see.
For anyone reading about FDR, or World War II, this companion volume on his war administration is a must for anyone's collection, as it has become in mine.
Throughout his presidency, a disconnect existed between Roosevelt's high-minded rhetoric and his behind-the-scenes use of Realpolitik. Roosevelt's strong speeches outlined bold, idealistic war aims, but he suffered from indecision behind the scenes, which delayed the United States' commitment before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt's indecision and his vague policy preferences were due to stiff political opposition from isolationist voters at home. The draft-extension bill, for example, survived by only one vote and limited other moves to escalate the war effort.
The attack on Pearl Harbor unified the nation and brought Roosevelt's strategy into focus.Read more ›
He does give us the ambivalence of Roosevelt - who was the best actor of that epoch. Roosevelt would be constantly probing to see how far he could go without jeopardizing his popularity in the U.S. If he would have declared war prior to Pearl Harbour all would have been lost. It may have been justified, but Roosevelt knew how to manage and balance the "right thing" with his hold on power.
But Burns gives us little of the personal Roosevelt. There is little on his relationship with those closest to him - like Eleanor, his mother or his children. Even his relationship with those in his government - Harry Hopkins, Francis Perkins is barely mentioned. Roosevelt was a very communicative human being - he loved gossip and wanted to know what made people tick.
Burns is excellent on the political side of Roosevelt, but the personal side is ignored.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read on FDR's method of leadership and his total control of the war yearsPublished 7 days ago by John Dennis Welsh
Excellent and thorough account of Roosevelt's final years. The book stretched a bit with more detail than a non-military reader can absorb.Published 10 days ago by Anita D
Massive details of intricate political and governmental conflicts during Roosevelt's tenure. I wanted less details and more crisis/war action. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Thomas W Shepherd
The topic would be fascinating, the writing style is so heavy and boring to make any page and ordeal.Published 20 days ago by Sattina
History has made Roosevelt somewhat one-dimensional. This book and the first volume really dig deep into his complexity. Very much recommend them both!Published 26 days ago by Ted Thompson
Worth reading if you are a history buff. I found it interesting, but not in the class of No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A well researched dynamic history by one of the best historians in a generation.Published 1 month ago by Gregory A. Beale
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