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The New Dealers' War: F.D.R. and the War Within World War II

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Acclaimed historian Thomas Fleming brings to life a flawed and troubled FDR struggling to manage World War II. Starting with the leak to the press of Roosevelt's famous Rainbow Plan, then spiraling back to FDR's inept prewar diplomacy with Japan and his various attempts to lure Japan into an attack on the U.S. Fleet in the Pacific, Fleming takes the reader on a journey thr ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published June 6th 2002 by Basic Books (first published 2001)
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Kevin Cole
Life's a lot easier when you take it for granted that professional politicians - even those whose policy positions you agree with - only care about two things: getting elected and staying elected. This book reveals how politicians operate behind the rhetoric, led by the master Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The fact that many today still idolize FDR speaks to the lasting achievement of his talent. Did Roosevelt have convictions and sentiments? Of course. Did he let such get in the way of his being P ...more
Jeff Raymond
I was more than happy to go along with the “historical consensus” that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a good (great?) President. I honestly cannot remember who told me to read this specific book, but it really rocked by world and introduced a whole new level of skepticism of, well, everything in my life. Today, between this book and Amity Shales’s The Forgotten Man, there’s really no excuse left for FDR worship, and that the case isn’t closed on it at this point (especially post-stimulus), well…
An hysterical demonization of FDR. Very interesting and closely researched, but also unrelentingly biased and relies on a great deal of titillating hearsay, after stating explicitly in the Prologue that he wishes to 'liberate history from memory'. Entertaining precisely in the respects that it is *not* a history: hearsay and anecdotes are fun, but Fleming's analyses derived therefrom are inconsistent, illogical, deeply biased, and betray a number of assumtions about right/left, capitalism, etc. ...more
Kevin O'Keeffe
This is probably one of the most important books on both U.S. history, and the western Allied role within the Second World War, ever to be written. Many books claim to demonstrate that the execrable war criminal, Frank Roosevelt, was a traitor who permitted the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor, in order to generate public enthusiasm for a formal U.S. entry into the Second World War (whether motivated by some weird, ideological fixation on an anti-fascist worldview, a more perfidious desire to impos ...more
Sean Rosenthal
Interesting Quotes:

"As the Japanese slowly realized that they were not going to get any oil [after America's covert oil embargo of Japan beginning August 1941], Tokyo's hard-liners argued that this was proof that the Americans were trying to humiliate them. They began planning to use their military power to get oil--and much more. It is hard to believe that Roosevelt, if he was reading the Purple intercepts, did not see war as an inevitable outcome of this covert policy."

-Thomas Fleming, the Ne
My opinion of this book was very mixed. On the one hand, I thought Fleming put forth a number of valid criticisms of FDR, and his handling of WWII. The most telling, imo, was FDR's failure to understand the nature of Stalin and the Soviet Union, that they were our enemy every bit as much as Nazi Germany.

Fleming failed to convince me, however, that FDR was somehow responsible for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, nor was I convinced that it was a mistake to insist on the unconditional surrend
Chris Johnson
Fleming's book on FDR and the New Dealers covers a wide variety of topics and hits on many interesting details about the New Dealers. A great read that digs in depth into the fight during the fight that most people overlook and/or overlooked. An easy read for a biography/historical novel. Anyone interested in FDR should read this novel.
Alec Gray
An overview of the FDR administration and how it got the US into and prosecuted the world war. Very interesting to re-visit that time to see how divided the country was about war, and how we now use WWII as the great patriotic venture while ignoring its context.
The final chapter titled Ashes of Victory where the author draws countless erroneous conclusions drags this book down to 4-stars. Otherwise it is an interesting account of the oft chaotic, cynically dysfunctional and sycophantic world of FDR.
This is one of a number of books that seek to prove that FDR put the fleet at Pearl to bait the Japanese. This book gives more background on his decision than the others.
Convincing. Helped turn me GOP.
Mar 09, 2009 Rose added it
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Thomas J. Fleming is an historian and historical novelist, with a special interest in the American Revolution. He was born in 1927 in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of a World War I hero who was a leader in Jersey City politics for three decades. Before her marriage, his mother, Katherine Dolan Fleming, was a teacher in the Jersey City Public School System.

After graduating from St. Peter's Prepa
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