F.D.R. and the War Within World War II
Author: Thomas Fleming
Publisher: Basic Books
June 2002.

>From the Publisher
"A gripping, controversial, informative and at times infuriating look at FDR's leadership as the nation entered and fought World War II...Both revisionist and controversial." Washington Post.

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 through the incredibly fractious struggles and debates that went on in Washington, the nation, and the world as the New Dealers strove to impose their will on the conduct of the War.

In bold contrast to the familiar, idealized FDR of other biographies, Fleming's Roosevelt is a man in remorseless decline, battered by ideological forces and primitive hatreds that he could not handle and frequently failed to understand some of them leading to unimaginable catastrophe. Among FDR's most dismaying policies, Fleming argues, is his insistence on "unconditional surrender" for Germany (a policy that perhaps prolonged the war by as much as two years, leaving millions more dead) and his often-uncritical embrace of and acquiescence to Stalin and the Soviets as an ally.

The New Dealers' War is one of those rare books that force readers to rethink what they think they know about a pivotal event in the American past.

Author Biography: Thomas Fleming, a widely respected historian and compelling writer, is the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including most recently Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America; Liberty! The American Revolution; Bunker Hill; Now We Are Enemies, and biographies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Fleming is a frequent guest and contributor to NPR, PBS, A&E, The History Channel, and The Today Show. He lives in New York City and Westport, Connecticut.

DDC note: While being interviewed on C-Cpan's Booknotes, Fleming pointed out how FDR made the grab for absolute power by attempting to stack the Supreme Court with 7 more justices in 1937, and how the New Dealer's oil embargo against Japan prompted the attack on Pearl Harbor.