Author: Nigel Hamilton
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2016-06-07
“Superb . . . Hamilton brilliantly sets out Roosevelt’s foresight, determination and skill in establishing a new world order.” —Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post “Provocative . . . stimulating to follow.” —Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times Book Review 1943 was the year of Allied military counteroffensives, beating back the forces of the Axis powers in North Africa and the Pacific—the “Hinge of Fate,” as Winston Churchill called it. In Commander in Chief Nigel Hamilton reveals FDR’s true role in this saga: overruling his own Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordering American airmen on an ambush of the Japanese navy’s Admiral Yamamoto, facing down Churchill when he attempted to abandon Allied D-day strategy (twice). This FDR is profoundly different from the one Churchill later painted. President Roosevelt’s patience was tested to the limit quelling the Prime Minister’s “revolt,” as Churchill pressured Congress and senior American leaders to focus Allied energy on disastrous fighting in Italy and the Aegean instead of landings in Normandy. Finally, in a dramatic showdown at Hyde Park, FDR had to stop Churchill from losing the war by making the ultimate threat, setting the Allies on their course to final victory. In Commander in Chief, Hamilton masterfully chronicles the clash of nations—and of two titanic personalities—at a crucial moment in modern history. “The rebuttal to the Churchill multivolume history . . . The war retains its power to shock and surprise.” — Boston Globe
An in-depth analysis of FDR's leadership during the Second World War reveals how he assumed control over key decisions to launch a successful trial landing in North Africa to shift the war in favor of Allied forces. 50,000 first printing.
Author: Nigel Hamilton
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2010-09-07
Genre: Political leadership
An insightful portrait of U.S. presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush. Hamilton examines their unique characters, their paths to Pennsylvania Avenue, their effectiveness as global leaders, and their lessons in governance, both good and bad.
"'By far the most enigmatic leading figure' of World War II. That's how the British military historian John Keegan described Franklin D. Roosevelt, who frequently left his contemporaries guessing, never more so than at the end of his life. Here, in an insightful account, a prizewinning author and journalist untangles the narrative threads of Roosevelt's final months, showing how he juggled the strategic, political, and personal choices he faced as the war, his presidency, and his life raced in tandem to their climax. The story has been told piecemeal but never like this, with a close focus on Roosevelt himself and his hopes for a stable international order after the war, and how these led him into a prolonged courtship of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator, involving secret, arduous journeys to Tehran and the Crimea. In between, as the war entered its final phase, came the thunderbolt of a dire medical diagnosis, raising urgent questions about the ability of the longest-serving president to stand for a fourth term at a time when he had little choice. Neither his family nor top figures in his administration were informed of his diagnosis, let alone the public or his closest ally, Winston Churchill. With D-Day looming, Roosevelt took a month off on a plantation in the South where he was examined daily by a navy cardiologist, then waited two more months before finally announcing, on the eve of his party's convention, that he'd be a candidate. A political grand master still, he manipulated the selection of a new running mate, with an eye to a possible succession, displaying some of his old vigor and wit in a winning campaign. With precision and compassion, Joseph Lelyveld examines the choices Roosevelt faced, shining new light on his state of mind, preoccupations, and motives, both as leader of the wartime alliance and in his personal life. Confronting his own mortality, Roosevelt operated in the belief that he had a duty to see the war through to the end, telling himself he could always resign if he found he couldn't carry on. Lelyveld delivers an incisive portrait of this deliberately inscrutable man, a consummate leader to the very last."--Jacket.
Author: Lewis E. Lehrman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2017-01-30
During World War II the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain cemented the alliance that won the war. But the ultimate victory of that partnership has obscured many of the conflicts behind Franklin Roosevelt’s grins and Winston Churchill’s victory signs, the clashes of principles and especially personalities between and within the two nations. Synthesizing an impressive variety of sources from memoirs and letters to histories and biographies, Lewis Lehrman explains how the Anglo-American alliance worked--and occasionally did not work--by presenting portraits and case studies of the men who worked the back channels and back rooms, the secretaries and under secretaries, ambassadors and ministers, responsible for carrying out Roosevelt’s and Churchill’s agendas while also pursuing their own and thwarting others’. This was the domain of Joseph Kennedy, American ambassador to England often at odds with his boss; spymasters William Donovan and William Stephenson; Secretary of State Cordell Hull, whom FDR frequently bypassed in favor of Under Secretary Sumner Welles; British ambassadors Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax; and, above them all, Roosevelt and Churchill, who had the difficult task, not always well performed, of managing their subordinates and who frequently chose to conduct foreign policy directly between themselves. Scrupulous in its research and fair in its judgments, Lehrman’s book reveals the personal diplomacy at the core of the Anglo-American alliance.
Author: Jon Meacham
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2003-10-14
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often secretly, in places as far-flung as Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca, and Teheran, talking to each other of war, politics, the burden of command, their health, their wives, and their children. Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power. In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and faced skeptics and haters in their own nations—yet both magnificently rose to the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt. The British prime minister, who rallied his nation in its darkest hour, standing alone against Adolf Hitler, was always somewhat insecure about his place in FDR’s affections—which was the way Roosevelt wanted it. A man of secrets, FDR liked to keep people off balance, including his wife, Eleanor, his White House aides—and Winston Churchill. Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally conflicting interests. Franklin and Winston is also the story of their marriages and their families, two clans caught up in the most sweeping global conflict in history. Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’ s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill’s joint company—shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle. Hitler brought them together; later in the war, they drifted apart, but even in the autumn of their alliance, the pull of affection was always there. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most remarkable friendship of the modern age.
Author: Roger Daniels
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2016-02-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Having guided the nation through the worst economic crisis in its history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt by 1939 was turning his attention to a world on the brink of war. The second part of Roger Daniels's biography focuses on FDR's growing mastery in foreign affairs. Relying on FDR's own words to the American people and eyewitness accounts of the man and his accomplishments, Daniels reveals a chief executive orchestrating an immense wartime effort. Roosevelt had effective command of military and diplomatic information and unprecedented power over strategic military and diplomatic affairs. He simultaneously created an arsenal of democracy that armed the Allies while inventing the United Nations intended to ensure a lasting postwar peace. FDR achieved these aims while expanding general prosperity, limiting inflation, and continuing liberal reform despite an increasingly conservative and often hostile Congress. Although fate robbed him of the chance to see the victory he had never doubted, events in 1944 assured him that the victory he had done so much to bring about would not be long delayed. A compelling reconsideration of Roosevelt the president and campaigner, The War Years, 1939-1945 provides new views and vivid insights about a towering figure--and six years that changed the world.
Author: Nigel Hamilton
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
This fascinating study of military leadership follows British general Bernard Law Montgomery's military career from his cadet days and service in World War I to his great victories of World War II, including his defeat of the great German panzer commander, Erwin Rommel, at Alamein. Nigel Hamilton presents a brilliant, arrogant Montgomery, who refused to bow to authority and skated on the edge of dismissal like his American counterpart, George S. Patton. Though very different in their command styles, Montgomery and Patton became the two most successful Allied field generals in World War II. From North Africa through the invasion of Sicily, they routed the Germans in battle, with Patton as a thrusting cavalryman and Montgomery as an infantry commander devoted to applying massive force at a vital point. The author contends that Montgomery's planning and leadership transformed Operation Overlord from a Second Front project doomed to fail into a successful Allied invasion plan. Allied operations after Normandy foundered in bitter arguments and failure, for Montgomery at Arnhem and Patton at Metz. Had Montgomery and Patton been ordered to fight in the same direction after Normandy, argues Professor Hamilton, the Allies might have ended the war in Europe in 1944. As it was, Montgomery and Patton had to save the Allies from sensational defeat in the Battle of the Bulge in what was to be their last battle together. The war ended for Monty on May 4, 1945, when he accepted the surrender of all German forces in the north.
Author: Jonathan W. Jordan
Release Date: 2015-05-05
From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan W. Jordan—author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors—comes the intimate true story of President Franklin Roosevelt’s inner circle of military leadership, the team of rivals who shaped World War II and America. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was wakened from its slumber of isolationism. To help him steer the nation through the coming war, President Franklin Roosevelt turned to the greatest “team of rivals” since the days of Lincoln: Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Admiral Ernest J. King, and General George C. Marshall. Together, these four men led the nation through history’s most devastating conflict and ushered in a new era of unprecedented American influence, all while forced to overcome the profound personal and political differences which divided them. A startling and intimate reassessment of U.S. leadership during World War II, American Warlords is a remarkable glimpse behind the curtain of presidential power. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From best-selling, award-winning biographer Nigel Hamilton, this is an insightful, prodigiously researched, and wonderfully readable account of Bill Clinton's first term in office. It shows how a well-meaning but naïve new president failed to assert true leadership in his first two years, and then illustrates how, in an astonishing act of self-reinvention, the president turned defeat into victory. Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency is a gripping tale of hubris and redemption—and a chronicle of one of the most dramatic reversals of fortune in modern American politics.
Author: Joseph E. Persico
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2013-05-28
All American presidents are commanders in chief by law. Few perform as such in practice. In Roosevelt’s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph E. Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Declaring himself “Dr. Win-the-War,” FDR assumed the role of strategist in chief, and, though surrounded by star-studded generals and admirals, he made clear who was running the war. FDR was a hands-on war leader, involving himself in everything from choosing bomber targets to planning naval convoys to the design of landing craft. Persico explores whether his strategic decisions, including his insistence on the Axis powers’ unconditional surrender, helped end or may have prolonged the war. Taking us inside the Allied war councils, the author reveals how the president brokered strategy with contentious allies, particularly the iron-willed Winston Churchill; rallied morale on the home front; and handpicked a team of proud, sometimes prickly warriors who, he believed, could fight a global war. Persico’s history offers indelible portraits of the outsize figures who roused the “sleeping giant” that defeated the Axis war machine: the dutiful yet independent-minded George C. Marshall, charged with rebuilding an army whose troops trained with broomsticks for rifles, eggs for hand grenades; Dwight Eisenhower, an unassuming Kansan elevated from obscurity to command of the greatest fighting force ever assembled; the vainglorious Douglas MacArthur; and the bizarre battlefield genius George S. Patton. Here too are less widely celebrated military leaders whose contributions were just as critical: the irascible, dictatorial navy chief, Ernest King; the acerbic army advisor in China, “Vinegar” Joe Stilwell; and Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, who zealously preached the gospel of modern air power. The Roosevelt who emerges from these pages is a wartime chess master guiding America’s armed forces to a victory that was anything but foreordained. What are the qualities we look for in a commander in chief? In an era of renewed conflict, when Americans are again confronting the questions that FDR faced—about the nature and exercise of global power—Roosevelt’s Centurions is a timely and revealing examination of what it takes to be a wartime leader in a freewheeling, complicated, and tumultuous democracy. Praise for Roosevelt’s Centurions “FDR’s centurions were my heroes and guides. Now Joe Persico has written the best account of those leaders I've ever read.”—Colin L. Powell “Benefiting from his years of studying Franklin Roosevelt and his times, Joseph Persico has brought us a briskly paced story with much wisdom and new insights on FDR, his military liege men, World War II, and political and military leadership.”—Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789–1989 “Long wars demand long books, but these are 550 pages of lively prose by a good writer who knows his subject. . . . A fine, straightforward politics-and-great-men history.”—Kirkus Reviews “Persico makes a persuasive case that FDR was clearly in charge of the most important decisions of the American war plan.”—The Washington Times From the Hardcover edition.
Author: John A. Nagy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2016-09-20
George Washington was America’s first spymaster, and his skill as a spymaster won the war for independence. George Washington’s Secret Spy War is the untold story of how George Washington took a disorderly, ill-equipped rabble and defeated the best trained and best equipped army of its day in the Revolutionary War. Author John A. Nagy has become the nation’s leading expert on the subject, discovering hundreds of spies who went behind enemy lines to gather intelligence during the American Revolution, many of whom are completely unknown to most historians. Using George Washington’s diary as the primary source, Nagy tells the story of Washington’s experiences during the French and Indian War and his first steps in the field of espionage. Despite what many believe, Washington did not come to the American Revolution completely unskilled in this area of warfare. Espionage was a skill he honed during the French and Indian war and upon which he heavily depended during the Revolutionary War. He used espionage to level the playing field and then exploited it on to final victory. Filled with thrilling and never-before-told stories from the battlefield and behind enemy lines, this is the story of how Washington out-spied the British. For the first time, readers will discover how espionage played a major part in the American Revolution and why Washington was a master at orchestrating it.
Author: Geoffrey C. Ward
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-11
For the first time in paperback, the highly acclaimed, remarkably intimate, and surprisingly revealing secret diary of the woman who spent more private time with FDR than any other person during his years in the White house. At once a love story and a major contribution to history, it offers dramatic new insights into FDR—both the man and the president. • Bestselling author: Geoffrey C. Ward is an award-winning biographer of FDR and the bestselling coauthor of many books with Ken Burns, including The Civil War and Baseball. • Widely acclaimed: “A fascinating, very personal view of the man and his life” (USA TODAY). “A remarkable portrait” (The Washington Post). “A new mirror on Roosevelt” (The New York Times). “engrossing” (The New York Review of Books). • Intimate portrait of a president: FDR trusted Margaret “Daisy” Suckley completely—she was allowed to photograph him in his wheelchair, was privy to wartime secrets, and documented his failing health in great detail. • Major contribution to history: Daisy’s diary offers unique insights into FDR’s relationship with Winston Churchill and other wartime leaders, his decision to run for an unprecedented fourth term, and his hopes for the postwar world.
Author: Andrew Roberts
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2009-05-28
Masters and Commanders describes how four titanic figures shaped the grand strategy of the West during the Second World War. Each was exceptionally tough-willed and strong minded, and each was certain that he knew best how to win the war. Yet each knew that he had to win at least two of the others over in order to get his strategy adopted. The book traces the mutual suspicion and admiration, the rebuffs and the charm, the often explosive disagreements and wary reconciliations which resulted.