Synopses & Reviews
The whirl of events during the spring and summer of 1940 is boggling to contemplate: the astonishing collapse of France, the evacuation of Dunkirk, secret moves for peace, the Battle of Britain, air raids on London, the battle over isolationism in America. While Britain steeled itself for a German invasion, America argued over how to respond to the gathering storm in Europe. In December 1941, Germany and Japan would declare war on the United States, forcing the nation to join the Allied cause. But it was the extraordinary decisions made between May and September of 1940 that signaled America's willingness to emerge from its entrenched isolationism. Those nineteen weeks were, Moss shows, the crucible in which America's interventionist role in the world was forged and which ensured the decline and eventual disappearance of the British Empire. Roosevelt's battle for the hearts and minds of Americans was to have far-reaching consequences that still color the way we live today.
Nineteen Weeks recounts the epic tale of these two nations, each confronting the great crush of history. Moss examines this period from the viewpoints of the leaders and policymakers, but also through the intimate experiences of ordinary citizens. A moving, prescient examination of two countries struggling with war, Nineteen Weeks opens important questions about the decline of the British Empire and the rise of America's dominant role in global politics.
"This is an accurate, large-scale history of a short time frame, presented in an eminently readable style." Publishers Weekly
"Even those familiar with the historical chronology will enjoy Moss' engaging narrative, and many will be surprised by some of the lesser-known details....Moss' history is a must for anyone supposing that American involvement in World War II began with Pearl Harbor." Booklist
"Nineteen Weeks is not only a vivid portrait of the desperate days of 1940 when Britain's fate was very much in doubt but a stirring example, as a British M.P. noted, of a time when 'every day is a document, every hour history.'" The Washington Post
"Moss reiterates known history unnecessarily....he is a journalist, not a historian, and his instinct to grab the reader with histrionics and heavily freighted anecdotes threatens to undermine what is otherwise legitimate research. Ultimately, it's pretty compelling reading and recommended." Library Journal
"Mosss account touches on any number of little-explored incidents....Historians will take issue with some of the interpretations, but general readers will find this a lucid introduction to the days before the tide was turned." Kirkus Reviews
Includes bibliographical references (p. -382) and index.
About the Author
Norman Moss, a writer, journalist, and broadcaster, is the author of several books, including a widely praised history of the hydrogen bomb and a biography of the atomic spy Klaus Fuchs.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1 Postwar 4 2 Prewar 26 3 Phony War 57 4 Blitzkrieg 96 5 Retreat and Deliverance 127 6 The Great Debate 158 7 The White Cliffs 188 8 Panzers in Philadelphia 224 9 The Most Critical Month” 260 10 The Biggest Target 288 11 Odds Long, Stakes Infinite 319 12 After the Summer 348 Notes 361 Select Bibliography 375 Index 383