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Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > Q&A WITH JOSEPH (SPOILER THREAD)

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 03, 2013 05:30AM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments ***********SPOILER THREAD**********
Random House has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to chat with the author of the book Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II which will be kicked off on May 28, 2013.

Joseph Persico will be dropping in periodically to answer any and all of your questions regarding his book.

Please begin posting your questions for the author on this thread.


Thank you and I hope you will you enjoy this special author experience here at the History Book Club. Many of you who are joining in on this discussion will be receiving your full edition. The books have been sent.

Those of you who would also like to participate in the upcoming discussion can purchase a book from your local or online bookstore. You can preorder the book now and/or for download.

Regards,

Bentley

Roosevelt's Centurions  FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II by Joseph E. Persico by Joseph E. PersicoJoseph E. Persico


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments All, Mr. Persico will be joining us for this discussion so please in advance begin asking questions concerning FDR and the Commanders he led to victory in World War II here on this thread. Here is an example of the format:

Question: - Here is where you would type your question. Make sure that your question stands out in your post so it is easy for Mr. Persico to spot the question and answer quickly without wasting any time. We look forward to Mr. Persico being with us and we want to make the experience enjoyable for him too. This is a wonderful opportunity and we want to thank our friends at Random House for their generosity.


message 3: by Mark (last edited May 19, 2013 05:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Mortensen Mr. Persico, several years ago you were kind to take my telephone call to discuss your very fine book “11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour - Armistice Day 1918 World War 1 and Its Violent Climax”. You may recall the conversation where I mentioned that my grandfather serving in the Marine Corps officially learned of Armistice at roughly 1:30 PM. Upon returning home from the war he lived within the same town and roughly a mile of George K. Livermore, whom you mentioned in your very first introductory sentence. You were also interested to hear that Livermore’s good friend was W. Averell Harriman.

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour  Armistice Day, 1918  by Joseph E. Persico by Joseph E. PersicoJoseph E. Persico

Question
You are a very accomplished author, but also a talented political speechwriter. Did your interest in writing speeches come from listening to FDR on the radio?


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments You can begin folks to post questions in advance of the kick-off now. Just use the format above so that the questions stand out and Mr. Persico does not have to waste any time getting to the question you want answered. Mr. Persico will be with us for the duration of the discussion. He is very excited to be here.


Craig (Twinstuff) Question: With the changing face of warfare in the 21st century as compared to the 20th century and earlier, do you feel that the Presidential role as commander-in-chief has shifted? Although it might be difficult to answer, what do you feel FDR's approach might be in Afghanistan or Iraq if he were the American President today?


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Great question Craig and a wonderful way to kick off the discussion of this book. I am sure that when Mr. Persico joins he will be very excited to answer that one.

And thank you Mark for your great question too.


Craig (Twinstuff) Question: One of my favorite scenes in one of my all-time favorite movies about war is the moment near the beginning of Saving Private Ryan where the late Harve Presnell portrays General George C. Marshall fictitiously reading the Abraham Lincoln Bixby letter. Assuming that you've seen Saving Private Ryan, my question is whether you feel if that brief scene accurately depicted the nuances of the personal character of General Marshall or if you have thoughts about other fictional portrayals of General Marshall in such movies as Tora, Tora, Tora or Pearl Harbor?


message 8: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle  Halderman | 14 comments I look forward to hearing a reply to Craig's question as well. Also, in the same spirit, my QUESTION: Do you think the outcome of our current wars would have been different if set in the Roosevelt period - without the instant access to 24hr news reporting, or just the amount of immediate media release to the public? Or generally, has the amount of instant media coverage signifigantly impacted current wars in a more positive or negative way regarding outcomes/decisons? Even as it relates to a president's legacy. Thank you.


Peter Flom | 939 comments OK, I am not sure this question fits exactly with the book (since it won't be available to me for another week or so) but....

preface: In The Better Angels of Our Nature  Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker the author Steven PinkerSteven Pinker points out that since the end of WW II, no army has crossed the Rhine in anger. He also notes that the last time 60 years went by without this being so was in 333 AD.

QUESTION: Do you think WW II changed the nature of war, so that a conflict of this scope will never happen again?


message 10: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Mark wrote: "Mr. Persico, several years ago you were kind to take my telephone call to discuss your very fine book “11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour - Armistice Day 1918 World War 1 and Its Violent Climax”. You ..."

Hi Mark, I always FDR's voice inspiring and inimitable, so yes, it helped train my ear for speechwriting. Joe Persico


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Welcome Joe,

We are delighted to have you with us. Please feel free to reach out to me or to Alisa or any of the assisting moderators for any help you might need navigating the site. I did send you a welcome note with some of the helpful links - you might want to bookmark the Q&A one for easy access.

Thank you for giving us some of your time and feel free to jump in on the discussion threads as well.

Many thanks and we look forward to a wonderful discussion of your book.

All best,

Bentley


Alisa (MsTaz) | 5396 comments Welcome Joe, we are thrilled to have you join us for the discussion of your book. Thank you so much for spending time with us, it is a treat. We look forward to reading your book and discussing it with you. Our members will post questions here from time to time and we welcome your comments and insights.

Question: How is it that you decided to focus on FDR over the course of your writing career? Is there something uniquely compelling about him as a subject that prompted and held your interest over time?

Thanks again. It is wonderful to have you with us.


message 13: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Craig wrote: "Question: With the changing face of warfare in the 21st century as compared to the 20th century and earlier, do you feel that the Presidential role as commander-in-chief has shifted? Although it m..."

Obviously, the power of a president to make war, without a declaration of war, is vastly expanded today, and I'm not sure for the best. Look at Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan et al. Re our getting into Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place, FDR was the consummate pragmatist, and he would have been cautious about plunging into unknown waters.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Very wise words Joe.


message 15: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Craig wrote: "Question: One of my favorite scenes in one of my all-time favorite movies about war is the moment near the beginning of Saving Private Ryan where the late Harve Presnell portrays General George C. ..."

George Marshall is a tough act to fictionalize. He was an enormously able, but also sober and somewhat somber. He almost never referred to his generals by their first name no matter how long the personal association, Eisenhower, not Ike, Bradley, not Omar, Stilwell, not Joe. Such formality is hard to bring to life on the screen in a relentlessly honest portrayal unless a little license is taken..


message 16: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Michelle wrote: "I look forward to hearing a reply to Craig's question as well. Also, in the same spirit, my QUESTION: Do you think the outcome of our current wars would have been different if set in the Roosevelt..."

For one thing, Roosevelt worked in an era when the Congress's power to make war meant something. He wanted to support Britain against Nazi Germany, but would not have dared to bypass public opinion and plunge the US into Europe's War on his own. To fight the Nazis,he benefitted from Hitler's ill fated decision to declare war on the US, four days after Pearl Harbor. As for the 24/7 news cycle, it barely gives a leader time to make a thoughtful decision.


message 17: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Peter wrote: "OK, I am not sure this question fits exactly with the book (since it won't be available to me for another week or so) but....

preface: In [bookcover:The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence H..."


Frankly, it is the atom bomb and its descendants that have kept Europe from the past bloodlettings of World Wars I and II. The consequences of nuclear on the continent are just to horrific to contemplate for civilized nations.


Alisa (MsTaz) | 5396 comments Enlightening perspective Joe.

Question: How would you compare General Marshall to any of his modern day contemporaries?


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited May 29, 2013 02:24PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Peter we have a format so that Mr.Persico does not have to read through a lot of stuff if he does not have time. So if you are just making a comment do not use the reply button - just type your response:

Peter commented:

Indeed.

And this reminds me of a quote from Albert Einstein:

I do not know what weapons will be used to fight World War III. World War IV will be fought with rocks and sticks

===============================

If you have a question: put it in bold like this:

Question: This is where the question goes.


message 20: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle  Halderman | 14 comments Thank you for your time and reply. How true about the 24hr news cycle and the ability for anyone to be truly thoughtful in response and reaction.


message 21: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Alisa wrote: "Enlightening perspective Joe.

Question: How would you compare General Marshall to any of his modern day contemporaries?"


I would say that the contemporary leader closest to General Marshall would be Colin Powell, both men commanded respect throughout the U.S. military, across the political spectrum at home and in all quarters of the world. Both generals capped their careers by becoming secretary of state.


message 22: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 861 comments First, let me thank you for taking the time to engage with us. I have two questions.

Question 1 MacArthur seems to have great animosity toward Marshall. Is there a reason for this (valid or otherwise)?

Question 2 How did Marshall get on FDR's radar for such an important position? Were specific recommendations made? If so, by whom, and why?


message 23: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Condon (stevenecondon) | 42 comments Question: In Masters and Commanders  The Military Geniuses Who Led the West to Victory in World War II by Andrew Roberts author Andrew Roberts states that in 1938 Marshall's career had plateaued and he seemed destined to be passed over by younger officers. Among the many factors that led him from there to Chief of Staff, Roberts mentions the following: "[Marshall] was also helped by the fact that Douglas MacArthur, one of the most prominent and decorated soldiers in America, was widely thought too vain, ambitious and difficult a person to return to the post of Army chief of staff which he had held from 1930 to 1935, and was probably too politically conservative to get on successfully with the President.” Do you agree?


message 24: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments G wrote: "First, let me thank you for taking the time to engage with us. I have two questions.

Question 1 MacArthur seems to have great animosity toward Marshall. Is there a reason for this (valid or othe..."


1. Envy. Fear of a rival.

2. A pet new deal initiative of FDR's was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). George Marshall used his army organizational skills. to develop an impressive number of CCC camps. FDR took notice.


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited May 31, 2013 09:24AM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Hi Steve - put the citation at the bottom of your text and just type normally - easier to read - remember the citation rule: book cover, author's photo, author's link. Thanks.

Masters and Commanders  The Military Geniuses Who Led the West to Victory in World War II by Andrew Roberts by Andrew Roberts (no photo)

Thank you for using the Question: format. You might bold the word Question: next time so it stands out more.

The questions should focus on Mr. Persico's book and yours does because you are asking a question about MacArthur, Marshal and FDR. But a comparison and contrast to other books and authors may not be the way to go with your questions.

I would stick to events, people, places, and anything cited in the book. Mr. Persico has the right to answer or not answer any questions he likes. We are delighted that he has answered every one so far. Thank you.


message 26: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Veira | 11 comments I add my thanks to Mr. Persico for what is shaping up to be a thoroughly compelling read and for taking the time to engage with us here.

Question: On page xiii of the introduction, you say with reference to FDR, "He directed the war from an environment of controlled chaos, largely self-created."

I was intrigued to learn more of how this self-created chaos manifested itself, perhaps you could share a particular example of this?

Thanks again.


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 02, 2013 06:11PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Hello Joe,

Question: Who made the decision to make Kimmel and Short the scapegoats for the Pearl Harbor situation? Was it FDR or someone else and why was that done? As Commander in Chief - he could have simply rotated them out and placed somebody in their positions without ruining the men's careers. After reading all of the research for the book what is your opinion as to what happened to these men and why? Had FDR previously had issues with their style of command or with the men themselves?

Question: And when Strom Thurmond got something through that would have at least exonerated the poor guys - why did neither Clinton nor George W. Bush do anything to make things right for the families? What is your opinion?

Thank you.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 02, 2013 07:17PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Question: How could FDR justify interning the Japanese who were state side and not intern the ones that were in Hawaii where the attack took place?

Question: What was FDR's reasoning? Why was FDR so concerned about subversives which made him appear in the reading to be paranoid.

Question: Did Eleanor ever apologize on FDR's behalf to the Japanese Americans?

Question: Earl Warren regretted his involvement and said in his memoirs - "since deeply regretted the removal order and my own testimony advocating it, because it was not in keeping with our American concept of freedom and the rights of citizens..Whenever I thought of the innocent little children who were torn from home, school friends, and congenial surroundings, I was conscience-stricken...it was wrong to react so impulsively, without positive evidence of disloyalty" Of course FDR has passed away, but did any other advocates of internment regret their involvement and make any sort of apology as Warren did?


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 02, 2013 07:33PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Question: Regarding Pearl Harbor, there seemed to be a series of unfortunate miscalculations and communication's failures which led the command in Pearl Harbor not being warned ahead of time. In fact, even though Marshall was told that a communication would reach Hawaii in 8 minutes - it was actually a telegram that was received only by the time they were actually attacked. So the command had no warning.

Was there any other means of communication that Marshall could have used at that time and did he rely too strongly on what he was told would be the arrival time of the communique without checking or verifying if it had been received? Of course it was many years ago so the secured options could have been limited. What are your opinions regarding the course of events and why and the degree of responsibility?


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Question: I am curious as to what you meant about FDR and that he could be "maddening with his fluctuations, course reversals, and bewildering thought processes." Could you elaborate a bit about this. How difficult was this for a man like Marshall? And what examples would show that FDR did not have a logical flow about the way he thought prior to 1939 or during that year?

Question From your vantage point, how would you have rated FDR and the handling of the nation's crises as an historian and a scholar and someone who has studied FDR in depth?

Questions: How did Ike get to be the President while Marshall seemed to be overlooked and passed over. Marshall seemed to be more of an intellect and a better choice. From studying both men for this book and others, what are your conclusions about the above?


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Joe you are also invited to the discussion of the book on the weekly non spoiler threads - we are on week one. You can comment on any of the threads if you would like. Here is the link to week one.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...--


message 32: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Veira | 11 comments This is a question posed originally by Bentley, but one we've discussed further in the Chapter One thread, that's generated some interest.

Question: Bentley wrote: "e) What are you thoughts regarding how both men made decisions?"

As a man who's studied wartime leaders intensely, can you shed any light on the intricacies of how they went about making the huge decisions they made?

I'm interested in the "mechanics" of it, there's plenty of information on the "process" of famous creatives in history for example, writers, scientists etc... habits or rituals they felt aided their craft.

Did FDR, or his Generals have any specific ways of arriving at decisions that you're aware of?

Perhaps they intensely visualized outcomes, engaged in long periods of quiet reflection, personal brainstorming? I have no idea - but am extremely interested in some insights on this.


message 33: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 112 comments Question: Considering that General Pershing was widely blamed for the attacks on the Germans in the closing days on World War I after the Armistace was signed, and that George Marshall was almost killed during those attacks, why do you think Pershing and Marshall remained close after the war -- to the point of Pershing being the best man at Marshall's wedding? Do you believe that Marshall did not blame Pershing for the needless attacks that almost killed him, that he agreed with Pershing's rationale for the attacks, or do you think they remained close despite disagreement on this point?


message 34: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Mark wrote: "I add my thanks to Mr. Persico for what is shaping up to be a thoroughly compelling read and for taking the time to engage with us here.

Question: On page xiii of the introduction, you say with re..."


Persico replies. FDR’s Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, said of the President, “His mind does not easily follow a consecutive chain of thought but he is full of stories and incidents and hops in discussion from suggestion to suggestion and it is very much like chasing a vagrant beam of moonshine around a vacant room.” An example of FDR’s unpredictable and intuitive management style as recounted by a staff member:. He would give six men the same assignment and then give one man six assignments.


message 35: by Joseph E. (new)

Joseph E.  Persico (josephepersico) | 24 comments Mark wrote: "This is a question posed originally by Bentley, but one we've discussed further in the Chapter One thread, that's generated some interest.

Question: Bentley wrote: "e) What are you thoughts regar..."


Persico Replies. A short answer to a tough question. President Roosevelt acted on an almost undecipherable path in arriving at his decisions, namely intuition. When he came up with the idea of lend lease, to “loan” military aid to Britain, no one, including his closest associates, knew how he had arrived at this scheme. Marshall, on the other hand, was a logical, traceable, thinker. The best way to defeat Germany is to cross the English Channel and drive on to Berlin, he urged. FDR, intuitively, overruled the general.


message 36: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Veira | 11 comments Thanks for those insightful answers to my questions Joe.

The erratic, intuitive way of FDR's thinking is fascinating.

At this early stage of the book, and my own personal introduction to the man - I look forward to exploring further.

Although, whilst entertaining, FDR's thinking certainly seems to be "undecipherable" as you mentioned and so I guess will continue to be somewhat enigmatic to us as readers.

Perhaps we can learn more practical lessons from the more straightforward thinkers such as Marshall - we shall see.


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Joe Persico seems to have some issues with his computer and has sent me some responses to the questions above which I am going to post on his behalf in order to catch up.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 11, 2013 12:26PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments OK first up is the question from Steven


message 23: by Steven
(new) - added it
May 31, 2013 03:03am

Steven's question which you can read in message 23

Question: In author Andrew Roberts states that in 1938 Marshall's career had plateaued and he seemed destined to be passed over by younger officers. Among the many factors that led him from there to Chief of Staff, Roberts mentions the following: "[Marshall] was also helped by the fact that Douglas MacArthur, one of the most prominent and decorated soldiers in America, was widely thought too vain, ambitious and difficult a person to return to the post of Army chief of staff which he had held from 1930 to 1935, and was probably too politically conservative to get on successfully with the President.” Do you agree?


Persico Reply:

FDR could have dropped MacArthur as chief of staff upon becoming President, but kept him on for another year. So I don’t think FDR’s conservatism could have bothered FDR that much. Though the two men circled each other like wary lions, FDR believed in MacArthur’s military gifts. MacArthur as chief of staff, twice blocked Marshall, refusing to revoke a dead end assignment and delaying his promotion to brigadier general. Reason: in my judgment, fear of a universally admired rival.


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Next up are two questions that I asked:


message 27: by Bentley
(last edited Jun 02, 2013 06:11pm) (new)
Jun 02, 2013 05:58pm

Hello Joe,

Question: Who made the decision to make Kimmel and Short the scapegoats for the Pearl Harbor situation? Was it FDR or someone else and why was that done? As Commander in Chief - he could have simply rotated them out and placed somebody in their positions without ruining the men's careers. After reading all of the research for the book what is your opinion as to what happened to these men and why? Had FDR previously had issues with their style of command or with the men themselves?

Persico Reply:

The stunned FDR was angry at the failure of Pearl Harbor’s defenses. His decision to fault Husband and Kimmel was reinforced after he sent the Navy Secretary, Frank Knox, soon after the attack to make a firsthand estimation of culpability.

Bentley's Question:

And when Strom Thurmond got something through that would have at least exonerated the poor guys - why did neither Clinton nor George W. Bush do anything to make things right for the families? What is your opinion?

Persico Reply:

I don’t know why Kimmel and Husband were not exonerated by these people. On the other hand, their handling of their duties at Pearl Harbor was not flawless.


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Next up are some additional questions that I asked:


message 28: by Bentley
(last edited Jun 02, 2013 07:17pm) (new)
Jun 02, 2013 07:16pm

Question: How could FDR justify interning the Japanese who were state side and not intern the ones that were in Hawaii where the attack took place?

Persico Reply:

Ironic indeed. It turned out that there were so many Japanese in Hawaii that to incarcerate them would have upended the Hawaiian economy.

Bentley's Question:

What was FDR's reasoning? Why was FDR so concerned about subversives which made him appear in the reading to be paranoid.

Persico Reply:

FDR found it hard to believe that France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, et al fell so quickly to the Germans unless there had been internal subversion. He was thus extra sensitive to this possibility at home.

Bentley's Question:

Did Eleanor ever apologize on FDR's behalf to the Japanese Americans?

Persico Reply.

Don’t know.

Bentley's Question:

Earl Warren regretted his involvement and said in his memoirs - "since deeply regretted the removal order and my own testimony advocating it, because it was not in keeping with our American concept of freedom and the rights of citizens..Whenever I thought of the innocent little children who were torn from home, school friends, and congenial surroundings, I was conscience-stricken...it was wrong to react so impulsively, without positive evidence of disloyalty" Of course FDR has passed away, but did any other advocates of internment regret their involvement and make any sort of apology as Warren did?

Persico Reply:

Of course the Congress did, including indemnification of the interned people.


message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 11, 2013 12:24PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Next up some additional questions that I asked:

message 29: by Bentley
(last edited Jun 02, 2013 07:33pm) (new)
Jun 02, 2013 07:24pm

Question:

Regarding Pearl Harbor, there seemed to be a series of unfortunate miscalculations and communication's failures which led the command in Pearl Harbor not being warned ahead of time. In fact, even though Marshall was told that a communication would reach Hawaii in 8 minutes - it was actually a telegram that was received only by the time they were actually attacked. So the command had no warning.

Was there any other means of communication that Marshall could have used at that time and did he rely too strongly on what he was told would be the arrival time of the communique without checking or verifying if it had been received? Of course it was many years ago so the secured options could have been limited. What are your opinions regarding the course of events and why and the degree of responsibility?

Persico Reply:

I’m sure there were alternate communication routes beyond Western Union. But Marshall et al, I don’t believe, were kept informed that the warning telegram was snagged.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 11, 2013 12:26PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Thanks Joe for taking the time - with these latest responses you are caught up through message 33 from Matthew which is the last and only question not answered thus far.


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Matthew - @33 - here is the response received from Joe to your question - he is still having some computer issues related to goodreads:

message 33: by Matthew
(new)
Jun 05, 2013 02:49pm

Question: Considering that General Pershing was widely blamed for the attacks on the Germans in the closing days on World War I after the Armistace was signed, and that George Marshall was almost killed during those attacks, why do you think Pershing and Marshall remained close after the war -- to the point of Pershing being the best man at Marshall's wedding? Do you believe that Marshall did not blame Pershing for the needless attacks that almost killed him, that he agreed with Pershing's rationale for the attacks, or do you think they remained close despite disagreement on this point?

Persico Replies (through Bentley)

Pershing spotted Marshall as a comer early upon America’s entry into World War I. He brought Marshall onto his staff and remained a mentor and champion of the younger man throughout Marshall’s military career. Being a good soldier, Marshall accepted Pershing’s battlefield decisions, even one that almost cost his life. These risks lie at the core of warfare.


message 44: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 14, 2013 08:02AM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Folks, keep posting - Joe is here; and will send answers to all of your questions. He is having computer issues and is sending me via email his responses to any question posted,


message 45: by Tomerobber (last edited Jun 14, 2013 10:45AM) (new) - added it

Tomerobber | 334 comments QUESTION

Mr. Persico,
I am contemplating purchasing another of your books and was wondering if the lack of photos offered in the eBook edition is integral to the story . . . or should I opt for the print edition? I've noticed that even though the display capacity is available in most eBook versions these days . . . not all publishers make them available and though I prefer that format . . . not at the expense of content . . .

Thanks so much . . .

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour  Armistice Day, 1918  by Joseph E. Persico by Joseph E. Persico Joseph E. Persico


message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 15, 2013 02:47PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Question:

After reading chapters 6 and 7, I was shocked to read how the Philippines were handled. Do you think that Eisenhower was "sticking it" to his old boss with the strategic decision he recommended to Marshall? And what was wrong with Marshall for authorizing it? Was this another example of "getting back at MacArthur"? My feeling was that in this situation MacArthur acted more honorably that Ike and Marshall did. And ever since there have been issues with the Philippines and a "loss of prestige and influence in the East". Who could blame the Philippine people? What were your thoughts when writing this chapter and what were the lasting impressions of this situation you wanted the readers to come away with?


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Joe, it appears that the United States may have hastened the bombing at Pearl Harbor with a series of policy decisions which left the Japanese high and dry - 1) advising the British not to renew their agreement w/Japan 2) cutting off oil 3) stopping the sale of scrap metal 4) thwarting their attempts to expand in order to have their own natural resources.

Question: Did FDR himself bring about Pearl Harbor with his previous decisions?

FDR had a very cavalier approach about decision making; it seemed the right approach when we were in the thick of it - but strategically he seemed to be off target with foreign policy decisions.

Question: Do you think he was more impressed with himself and his foreign policy prowess than he should have been?

Sometimes I feel when reading your book that FDR was careless with people and took risks for himself and others that maybe were not prudent or presidential. He certainly would not have gotten away with them in this day and age and with this media.

Question: What made FDR so successful politically during this time period and how successful would he be today if he ran for president?


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 19, 2013 03:31PM) (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments message 45: by Tomerobber
(last edited Jun 14, 2013 10:45am) (new) - added it
Jun 14, 2013 10:42am

QUESTION:

Mr. Persico,
I am contemplating purchasing another of your books and was wondering if the lack of photos offered in the eBook edition is integral to the story . . . or should I opt for the print edition? I've noticed that even though the display capacity is available in most eBook versions these days . . . not all publishers make them available and though I prefer that format . . . not at the expense of content . . .

Thanks so much . . .

Persico Replies (via Bentley):

A picture is still worth a thousand words. I have tried to select photos for Roosevelt’s Centurions that bring a visual dimension to what I have written.


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief
(last edited Jun 15, 2013 02:47pm) (new)
Jun 15, 2013 02:15pm

Question:

After reading chapters 6 and 7, I was shocked to read how the Philippines were handled. Do you think that Eisenhower was "sticking it" to his old boss with the strategic decision he recommended to Marshall? And what was wrong with Marshall for authorizing it? Was this another example of "getting back at MacArthur"? My feeling was that in this situation MacArthur acted more honorably that Ike and Marshall did. And ever since there have been issues with the Philippines and a "loss of prestige and influence in the East". Who could blame the Philippine people? What were your thoughts when writing this chapter and what were the lasting impressions of this situation you wanted the readers to come away with?

Persico Replies (via Bentley)

I thought the opposing attitudes of FDR and Douglas MacArthur about rescuing the general from the Philippines offer a perfect expression of the difference between the two men. MacArthur, in my judgment, was a romantic sincere in his determination to go down with the troops as the Japanese in 1942 conquered the Philippines. It fits perfectly with his vainglorious perception of himself. FDR, for all his awareness of the general’s grandiosity, was at heart a pragmatist. MacArthur possessed military genius, therefore he did not want him martyred pointlessly in the Philippines, but wanted him in the battle.


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28671 comments Interesting answer Joe - thank you.


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