Synopses & Reviews
American Warlords is the story of the greatest team of rivals” since the days of Lincoln.
In a lifetime shaped by politics, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proved himself a master manipulator of Congress, the press, and the public. But when war in Europe and Asia threatened Americas shores, FDR found himself in a world turned upside down, where his friends became his foes, his enemies his allies. To help wage democracys first total war,” he turned to one of historys most remarkable triumvirates.
Henry Stimson, an old-money Republican from Long Island, rallied to FDRs banner to lead the Army as Secretary of War, and championed innovative weapons that shape our world today. General George C. Marshall argued with Roosevelt over grand strategy, but he built the worlds greatest war machine and willingly sacrificed his dream of leading the invasion of Europe that made his protégé, Dwight Eisenhower, a legend. Admiral Ernest J. King, a hard-drinking, irascible fighter who destroyed” Pearl Harbor in a prewar naval exercise, understood how to fight Japan, but he also battled the Army, the Air Force, Douglas MacArthur, and his British allies as they moved armies and fleets across the globe.
These commanders threw off sparks whenever they clashed: Generals against politicians, Army versus Navy. But those sparks lit the fire of victory. During four years of bitter warfare, FDRs lieutenants learned to set aside deep personal, political, and professional differences and pull a nation through the twentieth century's darkest days.
Encircling Roosevelts warlordsand sometimes bitterly at odds with themwas a colorful cast of the Second World Wars giants: Winston Churchill, MacArthur, Josef Stalin, Eisenhower, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Charles de Gaulle. These and other larger-than-life figures enrich a sweeping story of an era brimming with steel, fire, and blood.
Drawing upon a wealth of primary sources, American Warlords goes behind closed doors to give readers an intimate, often surprising view of titans who led America from isolation to the summit of global power. Written in a robust, engaging style, author Jonathan W. Jordan offers a vivid portrait of four extraordinary Americans in the eye of wars hurricane.
"This is history as it should be written. Award-winning historian Roberts, a master storyteller, combines a comprehensive command of sources, a sophisticated analytical dimension, and fingertip balance between great events and their personal dimensions. At the center of this 'world-historical global cataclysm' was Adolf Hitler. Roberts presents the war as defined by Hitler's mistakes: 'so heinous that he should have committed suicide out of sheer embarrassment....' Roberts (Masters and Commanders) says Hitler started the war before Germany was ready. He waged it with resources too limited for his grandiose objectives. He administered it through policies that made the Reich an enduring stench in the nostrils. Japan's war in the Pacific was no less ugly. Yet defeating the Axis required the strengths of three great powers. Roberts describes an Allied strategy shaped by the necessity of developing armed forces to match their foes. Britain kept the field in the war's darkest days. The U.S.S.R. drowned the Reich in 'oceans of blood.' America provided machines, money, and manpower over 16 million in uniform. These synergized efforts were sufficient barely sufficient, says Roberts. At every turn contingencies shaped outcomes that might have been very different absent the skill, will, and desperation demonstrated by the Grand Coalition. 4 pages of b&w photos; maps. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From "Britain's finest military historian" (The Economist
) comes a magisterial new history of World War II and the flawed axis strategy that led to their defeat.
The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. What were the factors that affected the war's outcome? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic con?ict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war—the grand strategy and the individual experience, the cruelty and the heroism—as never before.
In researching this magnificently vivid history, Roberts walked many of the key battlefields and wartime sites in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, and the Far East, and drew on a number of never-before-published documents, such as a letter from Hitler's director of military operations explaining the reasoning behind the Führer's order to halt the Panzers outside Dunkirk—a delay that enabled British forces to evacuate. Roberts illuminates the principal actors on both sides and analyzes how they reached critical decisions. He also presents the tales of many little-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the terrible depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War gives a dramatic account of this momentous event and shows in remarkable detail why the war took the course it did.
"Roberts'spopulist approach makes for a rollicking good read and never comes at theexpense of accuracy. His mastery of the huge variety of subjects is trulyimpressive and his ability to marshal these subjects into a single compellingnarrative stunning." —The Daily Telegraph
Hailedby The Economist as “Britains finest military historian” forbestsellers such as Masters and Commanders and Waterloo, AndrewRoberts offers a magisterial new history of World War II and the Axis strategythat led the Germans and Japanese to their eventual defeat. Perfect for readershoping to gain new insight into WWIIs pivotal battles and campaigns, fromDunkirk to D-Day, The Storm of War is a powerful, penetrating, andcompulsively readable examination of the causes, currents, and consequences ofthe Second World War.
A closeup, in-the-room look at how FDR took masterful command and control of the Second World War, from wresting key decisions away from Churchill and his own generals, to launching the first successful trial landing in North Africa, and beginning to turn the tide away from the Axis.
Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDRand#8217;s masterfuland#8212;and underappreciatedand#8212;command of the Allied war effort.and#160;Hamilton takes readers inside FDRand#8217;s White House Oval Studyand#8212;his personal command centerand#8212;and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war.and#160;
Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong.and#160;When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces werenand#8217;t ready.and#160;When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy.and#160;As Hamiltonand#8217;s account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Alliesand#8217; favor and FDRand#8217;s genius for psychology and military affairs is clear.and#160;This intimate, sweeping look at a great president in historyand#8217;s greatest conflict is must reading.
The New York Times-bestselling author of Napeoleon: A Life and The Storm of War tells the shattering story of the blackest day in the history of British army: the first day of the Somme Offensive, July 1, 1916
On July 1, 1916, after a five-day bombardment, 11 British and five French divisions launched their long-awaited "Big Push" on German positions on high ground above the Rivers Ancre and Somme on the Western Front. Some ground was gained, but at a terrible cost. In killing-grounds whose names are indelibly imprinted on 20th-century memory, German machine-guns—manned by troops who had sat out the storm of shellfire in deep dugouts—inflicted terrible losses on the British infantry. The British Fourth Army lost 57,470 casualties, the French Sixth Army suffered 1,590 casualties, and the German 2nd Army 10,000. And this was but the prelude to 141 days of slaughter that would witness the deaths of between 750,000 and 1 million troops. Andrew Roberts evokes the pity and the horror of the blackest day in the history of the British army—a summer’s day turned hell on earth by modern military technology—in the words of casualties, survivors, and the bereaved.
About the Author
Andrew Roberts is the author of Masters and Commanders and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. His other books include Napoleon and Wellington, Eminent Churchillians, and Salisbury, which won the Wolfson History Prize. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: PLACENTIA BAY
Before the Stormand#8194;3
PART TWO: PEARL HARBOR
The U.S. Is Attacked!and#8194;43
PART THREE: CHURCHILL IN THE WHITE HOUSE
The Victory Planand#8194;99
The Presidentand#8217;s Map Roomand#8194;145
PART FOUR: TROUBLE WITH MACARTHUR
The Fighting Generaland#8194;157
PART FIVE: END OF AN EMPIRE
The Mockery of the Worldand#8194;207
The Battleground for Civilizationand#8194;214
PART SIX: INDIA
No Hand on the Wheeland#8194;223
Lessons from the Far Eastand#8194;228
Churchill Threatens to Resignand#8194;236
The Worst Case of Jittersand#8194;254
PART SEVEN: MIDWAY
The Battle of Midwayand#8194;274
PART EIGHT: TOBRUK
Churchilland#8217;s Second Comingand#8194;289
The Fall of Tobrukand#8194;303
No Second Dunquerqueand#8194;310
Avoiding Utter Catastropheand#8194;317
PART NINE: JAPAN FIRST
A Staggering Crisisand#8194;330
A Rough Dayand#8194;337
PART TEN: THE MUTINY
A Definite Decisionand#8194;359
A Failed Mutinyand#8194;363
PART ELEVEN: REACTION IN MOSCOW
PART TWELVE: AN INDUSTRIAL MIRACLE
A Trip Across Americaand#8194;381
The Presidentand#8217;s Loyal Lieutenantand#8194;390
PART THIRTEEN: THE TRAGEDY OF DIEPPE
A Canadian Bloodbathand#8194;395
PART FOURTEEN: THE TORCH IS LIT
Something in West Africaand#8194;401
The Greatest Sensationand#8194;423