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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > 7. NO ORDINARY TIME ~ CHAPTER 10 - 11 mid (241 - 281) (11/29/09 - 12/06/09) ~ No spoilers, please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of November 29th through December 6th, we are reading the next 40 pages of No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The seventh week's assignment is:

November 29 – December 6 ~~ Chapter 10 – 11 mid (241 – 281)
Chapter Ten – “A Great Hour to Live” – page 241
Chapter Eleven – “A Completely Changed World” – page 270


We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This thread should only deal with this chapter and these pages. No spoilers, please.

Discussion on these sections will begin on November 29th.

Welcome,

Bentley

TO SEE ALL PREVIOUS WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL




No Ordinary Time Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin






message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 30, 2009 06:52AM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Here is a question from the publishers' reading guide which we may want to think about and consider to kick off this week's discussion:

"Goodwin characterizes FDR as a brilliant, energetic, cheerful man who rarely folded under pressure or displayed his innermost feelings. How might the elements of FDR's character and of his time have blended to create a man so successful in marshaling America's forces to defeat the Axis powers? Compare FDR to other wartime presidents such as Lincoln and Nixon. Why is FDR's place in history so secure?

Please feel free to initiate discussion. As you recall, Lincoln was in the midst of the Civil War and Nixon was still dealing with the Vietnam War.


message 3: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments I accidentally read a couple pages more than assigned, so I'm trying to forget those last pages. Don't want to spoil anything!

I'll begin with one of Bentley's questions, "Why is FDR's place in history so secure?"

I think part of it was successfully leading the country through not one, but two of the arguably top 5 crisis this country has faced, i.e. The Great Depression and most of WWII. I think another big part of it was FDR's ability to connect with the people. Not that he went out and shook hands more than every other president, but he spoke to the people. They felt he understood them. He inspired them. He explained things in ways that made sense, like comparing lend-lease to loaning a fire hose to your neighbor.

And FDR was excellent at balancing. He balanced labor and business, he balanced conservatives and liberals. And he did it in a way that usually left both sides feeling they got something. Most politicians do balancing, and often leave both sides hating them. But FDR seemed to know just when to give both sides something. Not to say that people were never upset with him, but the general American populace seemed to usually like his balancing choices.


message 4: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments One of the most interesting things to me in this section of the book was the comparison between FDR and Churchill on page 264. I've just read one short bio of Churchill, and I think Goodwin did a good job summarizing him. Does anyone who has read more biographies of either or both of them have anything to add? I think it is a good thing for history that these two men got along so well.

There was also a comparison earlier, on pages 254-255, when we see how both leaders were notified of the Russian invasion. FDR was woken up, but Churchill didn't let anyone wake him before 8am unless Britain was invaded.


message 5: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments I was curious about the difference between an Executive Order from the president and laws made by Congress. Wikipedia has a decent page on Executive Orders. Evidently it wasn't until the 1950's that there were any official rules or guidelines about what could or could not be covered by an Executive Order.

Here is a link to the Disposition Tables of Executive Orders of the presidents starting with FDR. The actual words of the order aren't usually there, but a one sentence description of the order is. Most orders seem to be things like calling out a specific unit of the national guard, or saying that a specific federal employee doesn't need to retire at retirement age. Except for his last year of presidency, FDR issued between 100-573 orders per year. Presidents since then have averaged a couple of dozen per year. The difference may be world-war-time versus comparatively-minor-war-time, or just the rules and guidelines issued in the 1950's.


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

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Elizabeth S wrote: "I accidentally read a couple pages more than assigned, so I'm trying to forget those last pages. Don't want to spoil anything!

I'll begin with one of Bentley's questions, "Why is FDR's place in h..."


That analogy about the fire hose is so down to earth...you can see why folks identified with FDR..he really explained his programs in terms that people could understand and better still appreciate. I think people really felt that he was looking out for them.

I agree Elizabeth..it could be that the times and the populace were different..and of course that is very true...but overall I think that even people today would appreciate a president like FDR who was intelligent, down to earth, was tough when he had to be but in a compassionate people centric way.

You have made some excellent points Elizabeth.




message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 01, 2009 10:31PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Elizabeth S wrote: "One of the most interesting things to me in this section of the book was the comparison between FDR and Churchill on page 264. I've just read one short bio of Churchill, and I think Goodwin did a ..."

Well of course I am partial to Churchill and just love the man (warts and all) - smile. I think there was a difference in terms of how both men faced the war. Churchill was more a career soldier so that another country's invasion was something that could wait until 8AM; there wasn't much anybody could do with the news. FDR on the other hand brooded over each separate event and seemed to take them personally. I think Churchill was more detached. Both men worked differently too. Churchill could work straight into the night after his naps and was very structured in his use of time and his schedule (strange as it was) so 8AM was the earliest civilized time to be told such news. The only emergency that Churchill really needed to know about so that he could personally act was whether in fact England was being invaded. I think Churchill's ability to detach and lead was a better temperament for a leader who was in the thick of it as England and London were. He had to maintain his cool and his focus when everything around him was falling down. FDR was more detached from the local war environment sitting in Washington. Maybe he needed to feel closer with more up to the minute notifications and coverage whereas Churchill for the most part was sleeping in the underground bunker with bombs being dropped overhead and had London burning around him.




message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Elizabeth S wrote: "I was curious about the difference between an Executive Order from the president and laws made by Congress. Wikipedia has a decent page on Executive Orders. Evidently it wasn't until the 1950's t..."

I think it is probably the latter but I do not know enough about Executive Orders to really comment.




message 9: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 107 comments Elizabeth S wrote: "One of the most interesting things to me in this section of the book was the comparison between FDR and Churchill on page 264. I've just read one short bio of Churchill, and I think Goodwin did a ..."

I can't recall which biography I read this in, (I'm tempted to say Franklin and Winston, but that might not be the right source)...

The author's point of view was that (1) FDR and Winston got along so well because Winston Churchill, in his young years, had been so rebuffed by his parents, (writing entreating letters only to be ignored), that he didn't take psychologically amiss that he was always doing "the courting" in their relationship, and (2) that Churchill managed to always keep in mind his end goal of saving England...and that as he realized saving England required US help, he could overlook almost any thing that FDR did...or at least he could keep himself from critizing FDR.




message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 02, 2009 02:13PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
I think you raise some great points Adele about Churchill's younger years. In the group we started out as our first spotlighted read - Churchill's wonderful autobiography on his early life called My Early Life 1874-1904.

My Early Life 1874-1904 by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill

That book really detailed how he was treated by his parents yet he was even good natured about that.

In some respects, .FDR was politely dismissive of Churchill at certain times and in some cases felt that FDR was saddling up to Stalin in terms of working out final outcomes. Churchill was one who always kept his eye on the ball.


message 11: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 128 comments I'm a bit behind on the reading, will catch up tonight, I hope, but I do agree with Elizabeth that Roosevelt led the U.S. through crises that seem, even in retrospect as some of our "darkest hours." I think he and Eleanor together made people feel personally connected to the president, as if he were thinking of them personally when he made decisions. Without judging his politics, but just his technique, I would say Reagan had some of this quality.


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 128 comments I'm slowly catching up with the reading and was interested in the comparison on page 278 of the Greer incident to the Gulf of Tonkin. It seems to me that there may be other times when presidents have invited attack or exaggerated an attack's severity to precipitate enthusiasm for a war. In fact, I know there are. How does Roosevelt get "credit" for the idea. Maybe some who are more familiar than I with military history could offer an idea?


message 13: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) FDR and Churchill were great leaders, no question, but that was true because they rose to the challenge of what they faced. Churchill, in particular, could have been a footnote in the History books if Hitler had not risen to power.

FDR relished the challenge of bringing the country out of the depression but, without WW2, it would have taken much longer and he would likely have not lasted in office long enough to take credit.

Inter-personally FDR could only manage positive relationships. He couldn't fire people who needed firing. A bsd flaw, in some ways, like his not firing his anti-semitic Immigration Director.

I think it's much harder, now, to bring change because of how quickly information is available and how easy it is to spread untrue allegations that influence people.

Millions listened to FDR's Fireside chats and believed what he said. Reaction was slow in coming. At the earliest, in the next day's newspapers.

A much smaller percentage of people watched President Obama's last speech and the Republicans were able to respond immediately to say nothing of the talking heads on every network. Makes it hard to be a hero.




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

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I'm a bit behind on the reading, will catch up tonight, I hope, but I do agree with Elizabeth that Roosevelt led the U.S. through crises that seem, even in retrospect as some of our "darkest hours...."

Many folks would agree with you about Reagan. I am not sure that people felt the same way about Nancy as they did about Eleanor. Different kinds of first ladies.





message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Ed wrote: "FDR and Churchill were great leaders, no question, but that was true because they rose to the challenge of what they faced. Churchill, in particular, could have been a footnote in the History book..."

Ed, you make some excellent points about reaction time and the media. You have about ten minutes to be a hero before somebody tries to bring you down.

It didn't seem like FDR liked unpleasantness around him in his interpersonal relationships and he wanted to be liked a little too much.

Your other points are well taken.




message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 05, 2009 11:05PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I'm slowly catching up with the reading and was interested in the comparison on page 278 of the Greer incident to the Gulf of Tonkin. It seems to me that there may be other times when presidents h..."

It appears that FDR seized on this opportunity during one of his fireside chats:

When news of the attack against an American ship reached the United States, public feeling ran high. President Franklin D. Roosevelt seized this occasion to make another of his famed "fireside chats", one in which he brought America nearer to outright involvement in the European war.

Declaring that Germany had been guilty of an act of piracy, President Roosevelt in effect unleashed American ships and planes for offensive action as he stated "in the waters which we deem necessary for our defense, American naval vessels and American planes will no longer wait until Axis submarines lurking under the water, or Axis raiders on the surface of the sea, strike their deadly blow—first."

With this "shoot on sight order", the period of "undeclared war" in the Atlantic began.


Source - Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Gree...




message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 05, 2009 11:06PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Andrea, I think the Greer incident was both an "incident" and an "encounter" with a real German U-Boat, etc.

I see the Gulf of Tonkin as a blatant action to get us more involved in the Vietnam War. It was the catalyst to get Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which gave Johnson the legal justification he was looking for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_...

I am sure there is an awful lot more we do not know about.

Polk and the US Mexican War may have been another one of these kinds of instances. Of course, we have the more recent weapons of mass destruction situation.




message 18: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 128 comments I agree with you, Bentley. I too feel the comparison was a bit strong.

What about the Lusitania incident? And wasn't there some kind of similar entrapment in the U.S. entering the Spanish American war? I need to look these things up and never seem to have enough minutes in the day to reinforce my leaky memory. smile.


message 19: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) Andrea wrote: "I agree with you, Bentley. I too feel the comparison was a bit strong.

What about the Lusitania incident? And wasn't there some kind of similar entrapment in the U.S. entering the Spanish Amer..."


"Remember the Maine" Most historians believe the explosion was caused by Cuban rebels to get the U.S. into the war.


message 20: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 107 comments Andrea wrote: "It seems to me that there may be other times when presidents have invited attack or exaggerated an attack's severity to precipitate enthusiasm for a war."

From No Ordinary Time and other reading, it does seem pretty clear that FDR emphasized the aspects of the encounter that he wanted to emphasize. But he didn't, at this point, want America to be drawn actively into war with Germany. He wanted to get Congress to give the OK for US ships to escort the supplies the US was sending to England....there being little point in sending supplies if they were going to end up on the bottom of the ocean (that line sounds too good to have been my own...I'm thinking it's a quote...but I can't properly attribute it)


Only a year early, in Sept 1940, "The American regular army at this time is 245,000 men, the 20th largest in the world, one place behind the Dutch. It had only 5 fully equipped divisions (the Germans deployed 141 divisions in the western campaign alone), equipped with weapons often still of First World War vintage (Fateful Choices, page 198).

"The longer America could remain out of the formal combat, the more advanced her military build-up would be. Moreover, a declaration of war would doubtless have resulted in domestic clamor to utilize the arms and equipment now being sent to GB and the Soviet Union for the US forces instead, leading to a weakening, not strengthening, or the resistance to Hitler on the European fighting front in the short term – perhaps with disastrous consequences…American shipping losses increasing…..perhaps bringing the immediate entry of Japan into the war…" (Fateful Choices, Chapter 3).

When Germany had invaded the Soviet Union in June of 1941, FDR's military advisors were telling him that the Soviets couldn't hold out more than 1 to 3 months.

And yet the US was in no way militarily ready to enter the war.

I think of the pressure on FDR at this time. Also, FDR was working on this particular fireside chat the weekend that his mother had died.

Bentley. I'm not sure how to pop in the icon of the book I referenced:

Fateful choices:
Ten Decisions that Changed the World, 1940-1941 by Ian Kershaw

Also, Bentley. Perhaps this isn't even the kind of information I should be introducing here as it's not from No Ordinary Time. Am I OK with that or a bit out line. Just let me know.

(I read NOT last year, but happily found I still had the book. And like Bentley's books, it's highlighted up and I had notes in the margins. I've enjoyed re-seeing it through the eyes of the readers and responders here.)



message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Here it is Adelle: (good post)


[image error] Ian Kershaw


message 22: by Mark (new)

Mark | 9 comments In light of FDR's comment to Stimson (page 293) "...was how we should maneuver them (Japanese) into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves." my take is that FDR showed several sides to his nature.

He could be crafty (maneuvering another country); a little callous (without...too much danger to ourselves...);realistic(need to get country to shed its isolationist ways); and too trusting (allowing Admirals and Generals and Intelligence people to let a Pearl Harbor happen).

DKG and others(Robert Dallek) seem to give FDR a pass on Pearl Harbor but I think he shares a little more criticism than I think he ultimately received.

Maybe I'm a bit too conspiratorial.



Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 With a New Afterword


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Mark thank you for your add....please make sure to add the cover and the author's link like so:

Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 With a New Afterword (Oxford Paperbacks) by Robert Dallek Robert Dallek

I do not have my book in front of me otherwise I would check...but you refer to page 293...if the reference is to No Ordinary Time...this thread only goes to 281 so a post regarding 293 would be considered a spoiler until next week's thread which will be opened up in time for tomorrow. It is pretty close so I will let it stay..but usually I just move the note to the appropriate thread to avoid any spoilers...the spotlighted threads are considered no spoiler threads even though many folks probably are quite aware of the history itself. We try to allow the story or book to unfold on the specific threads. Anything prior to this thread and/or to any earlier page is always fair game. Just look at the page numbers covered and post appropriately.

You are correct that FDR was a complex and multi faceted personality as are all of our presidents it seems. There is that power hungry side to all of the Oval Office seekers and some just harness it in a more pleasing manner than others. Just think what all of these folks go through to hold this office with all of the stresses involved and all of the turmoil. You only would have to talk to Eleanor to understand how crafty and duplicitous FDR could be. He also showed a carefree and risky side to his personality despite his handicap. I am not sure if he was too trusting though...that I don't see...if he allowed something to happen he did it knowing about the circumstances...maybe he honestly felt that Pearl Harbor would not occur and/or would be so unlikely.

There are many people who go through life and get the benefit of the doubt always and when they shouldn't and there are others who unfairly never get the benefit of the doubt on anything and they should have.

FDR belonged to the former entitled group for sure.

I do not think you are conspiratorial...you are just looking at the situation and history from all sides and raising some interesting questions. Thank you so much for your post.

Bentley


message 24: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) Mark wrote: "In light of FDR's comment to Stimson (page 293) "...was how we should maneuver them (Japanese) into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves." my take is ..."

I believe that conventional wisdom was that Japan would attack Indonesia to gain access to its oil. Possibly the Philippines and MacArthur was warned that it might happen.

No-one really believed that the Japanese would be able to attack Pearl Harbor and that includes Roosevelt. The disaster was caused as much by the stupid policies of the Commanders in Hawaii as by the Japanese bombs.

I believe FDR was hoping that an attack on the Philippines would rouse the American people.


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 07, 2009 07:01AM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
And then of course the unthinkable and/or unlikely thing happened...the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the American people were awakened.

The rest is history. FDR had the stimulation he needed and Churchill could sleep that night. The poor troops and ships at Pearl Harbor unfortunately and sadly were in the wrong place.


message 26: by Mark (new)

Mark | 9 comments Bentley and Ed

Thanks both for your reply. I got ahead of the group in that I didn't realize that we were stopping in the middle of the chapter--oops. It's a wonderful book about a terrific president and his equally remarkable wife--it's hard not to keep reading!

It's Pearl Harbor Day--quite an infamous day. I'm just a little uncomfortable how we came into WW II.

I don't want to say anymore and be a spoiler.

It's a terrific group--it's nice to be a member!



message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
We are glad to have you.


message 28: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 107 comments My thinking is in line with Ed's; no one believed the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor... On July 7, 1941, Sumner Welles wrote a letter to Harry Hopkins regarding Japan's possible future military moves.

He wrote, "The fact is that the German invasion of Russia may very possibly serve to cause Japan to take some further aggressive action" (Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History, 403).

Welles's letter continued: "Among the obvious possibilites are: (1) invasion of Siberia; (2) expansion to the southward; and (3) intensification of Japanese military operations in China."

The Japanese WERE considering such options:

"The outbreak of war between Germany and the Soviet Union," a Japanese official told the cabinet, "presents Japan with a golden opportunity such as comes only once in a thousand years" (Freedom from Fear 509). {At this point Japan was still weighing the opition of joining with the Nazis and attacking Russia. But the advocates of a southern strategy won out...The Japanese held off deciding until they had a better sense of whether or not the Germans were going to win (Fateful Choices). The Japanese army generals were adamently against taking action against Russia unless they had an overwhelming advantage...and Stalin made a "daring decision not to shift he Siberian garrisons to the defense of Moscow..." (FFF 509).

Another factor in the Japanese decision to move southward was oil.

In July of 1941 the US had put an embargo on most Japanese purchases...but there was not supposed to be a total embargo on oil...R hoped to avoid provoking a Japanese attack on the Dutch East Indies.

I forget my source on this next bit (I think it was Hirohito), but higher up officials had traveled with Roosevelt to his Atlantic meeting with Churchill. Some official left in charge thought or misunderstood...but the embargo on oil to Japan was somehow made total. Japan's military tells the Emperor they only have 18 months of oil...and that the US MUST be shocked out engaging in a war with Japan

The Emperor became angry. He was given a medical analogy: “If a doctor says there is a 70 per cent chance of saving a patient by an operation, but that not operating would mean certain death, then surgery would surely be chosen. ‘And if, after the surgery, the patient dies, one must say that was meant to be’” (Fateful Choices 342).

(Bentley, I promise, this evening I will figure out how to make the icons appear.)


message 29: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 107 comments I just read Mark's reply.
My apologies, too.
I will pay cafeful attention to the timelines covered in each thread.

Sorry.


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

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Just to help you out:

Fateful Choices (cover and author) are already noted in message 21 and goodreads has already populated the thread on the side and elsewhere so we do not have to add the cover and author for that one.

Roosevelt and Hopkins An Intimate History by Robert E. Sherwood Robert E. Sherwood

I assume you are referring to the following book by Kennedy:

Freedom from Fear The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Oxford History of the United States) by David M. Kennedy David M. Kennedy

Adelle, I agree with what you have stated. Thank you for citing the sources as you did. It is very helpful. An embargo on oil would be a catalyst for sure.

I do not think anybody even remotely thought that Pearl Harbor would be attacked. This decision was quite daring on the part of the Japanese and quite awful at the time for the US. However, FDR did capitalize on the situation to engage at that point.


message 31: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 107 comments Yes. I should have remembered to list the author. And thank you for doing the icon.


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
You are welcome..but try to add these yourself...you will get the hang of it. It sometimes takes a few tries at first.

You can use the preview button to check things out before you post.

It helps out the group members and this goodreads feature helps populate many fields which are helpful to everyone. No matter how lengthy the thread becomes...readers can always go to the white space to the right of the comment boxes and get a complete list with links of all books and authors mentioned any place on the thread. A really great feature.


message 33: by Adelle (new)

Adelle | 107 comments Bentley wrote:

Oh, Oh, smile. I so want to follow about that...but I've done learned my lesson...I'll hold off until No Ordinary Time reaches that time period.





message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 12, 2009 01:13PM) (new)

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
That is no problem (smile). There is also the conversation thread if you want to discuss anything ahead of time (in Coffee Tea and Conversation).

I have to open the next threads today and will soon.

Bentley


message 35: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments Elizabeth S wrote: "One of the most interesting things to me in this section of the book was the comparison between FDR and Churchill on page 264. I've just read one short bio of Churchill, and I think Goodwin did a ..."

Roosevelt and Churchill & greatness.

It was interesting that some years ago when I took a course on the four most influential western men since Christ and found that Hitler was included as one of those having the most influence (the others shoosen by the professor were Luther, Napoleon and Lenin - and there was much consternation in the class that no Americans - Jefferson high on the list were included).... so anyway maybe it was Hitler that raised the world stage to the point that both Churchill and FDR had a bigger opportuity to be great and unforgetable.




message 36: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments So to the point that "no one expected the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor" I still have to say that the lack of readiness at Pearl Harbor should have resulted in much disapline. Ed's comments mihgt be more powerful due to his Asian residence and time there but I think not. As I read the book and saw what was happening on November 29 I said to myself how could Pearl Harbor have happened as severely as it did?

There was real culpability and incompetence there I think.


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

Bentley | 40014 comments Mod
Those were interesting choices...so influence could be a double edged sword - not just for the common good.

Both Churchill and FDR had to rise to the occasion because of Hitler and his actions..so you may be on to something.




message 38: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Vince, I think sometimes people forget that "influential" doesn't mean "really good" or "worthy of emulation." Although we all naturally hate to give Hitler any accolades, he certainly influenced a lot of people.


message 39: by Ed (last edited Dec 12, 2009 09:15PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) Vince wrote: "So to the point that "no one expected the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor"....There was real culpability and incompetence there I think."

Vince,

Incompetence: for sure.

Conscious culpability: I don't think so.

Unconscious stupidity: likely.


message 40: by Vincent (new)

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1186 comments
Thanks for your comments

Thw course I mentioned had only influence not good as a measure as a note

For Ed - I did not mean consious culpability - just reality responsibility/culpability

I am these wondering about the military psyschritrist who sent Maj Hassin to Ft Hood (I think that was it) to be able to go on his rampage - they were pros who just removed the problem from their venue rather than dealing with it which should have been their rewsponsibility

Are they keeping their jobs & pensions? I don't think a lack of intent dismisses or excuses responsibility or culpability



message 41: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) Vince wrote: "
Thanks for your comments

Thw course I mentioned had only influence not good as a measure as a note

For Ed - I did not mean consious culpability - just reality responsibility/culpability

..."


I also believe that those accountable for allowing that nut to stay in the Army should be disciplined for not getting him out.

If you equate culpability with accountability when things go wrong, Vince, I agree with you.


message 42: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments Elizabeth S wrote in post #4: " I've just read one short bio of Churchill, ..."

---------------------

May I ask what the title of the short bio of Churchill was? Thank you.




message 43: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Elizabeth S wrote in post #4: " I've just read one short bio of Churchill, ..."

---------------------

May I ask what the title of the short bio of Churchill was? Thank you.

"


I cannot find it. It must have been long enough ago that I wasn't keeping track of everything I read. I've been keeping track for years, though, sorry. It isn't one I'd really recommend. Not that it was bad, but it didn't have the basic explanations of how the British government worked that I needed. And I didn't know the locations of some places that were assumed I'd know. Sorry I can't remember which one it was.


message 44: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments Elizabeth S wrote: cannot find it. It must have been long enough ago that I wasn't keeping track of everything I read. I've been keeping track for years, though, sorry. It isn't one I'd really recommend. Not that it was bad, but it didn't have the basic explanations of how the British government worked that I needed..."
-----------------------------

That's ok. :)


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 54 comments On another GR board someone just posted this Forbes article that reviews a small bio (192 pages) of Churchill.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/011...

Here is the Publishers Weekly review that Amazon posted

Starred Review. In this enthusiastic yet first-rate biography, veteran British historian Johnson (Modern Times) asserts that Winston Churchill (1874–1965) was the 20th century's most valuable figure: No man did more to preserve freedom and democracy.... An ambitious, world-traveling soldier and bestselling author, Churchill was already famous on entering Parliament in 1899 and within a decade was working with Lloyd George to pass the great reforms of 1908–1911. As First Lord of the Admiralty, he performed brilliantly in preparing the navy for WWI, but blame—undeserved according to Johnson—for the catastrophic 1915 Dardanelles invasion drove him from office. Within two years, he was back at the top, where he remained until the Depression. Johnson delivers an adulatory account of Churchill's prescient denunciations of Hitler and heroics during the early days of WWII, and views later missteps less critically than other historians. He concludes that Churchill was a thoroughly likable great man with many irritating flaws but no nasty ones: he lacked malice, avoided grudges, vendettas and blame shifting, and quickly replaced enmity with friendship. Biographers in love with their subjects usually produce mediocre history, but Johnson, always self-assured as well as scholarly, has written another highly opinionated, entertaining work. B&w photos. (Nov.)

amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Churchill-Paul-...
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (November 3, 2009)

Churchill by Paul Johnson Churchill by Paul Johnson


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