Synopses & Reviews
While Franklin Delano Roosevelts first hundred days may be the most celebrated period of his presidency, the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor proved the most critical. Beginning as early as 1939 when Germany first attacked Poland, Roosevelt skillfully navigated a host of challengesa reluctant population, an unprepared military, and disagreements within his cabinetto prepare the country for its inevitable confrontation with the Axis.
In No End Save Victory, esteemed historian David Kaiser draws on extensive archival research to reveal the careful preparations that enabled the United States to win World War II. Alarmed by Germany and Japans aggressive militarism, Roosevelt understood that the United States would almost certainly be drawn into the conflict raging in Europe and Asia. However, the American populace, still traumatized by memories of the First World War, was reluctant to intervene in European and Asian affairs. Even more serious was the deplorable state of the American military. In September of 1940, Roosevelts military advisors told him that the US would not have the arms, ammunition, or men necessary to undertake any major military operation overseaslet alone win such a fightuntil April of 1942. Aided by his closest military and civilian collaborators, Roosevelt pushed a series of military expansions through Congress that nearly doubled the size of the US Navy and Army, and increased production of the arms, tanks, bombers, and warships that would allow America to prevail in the coming fight.
Highlighting Roosevelts deft management of the strong personalities within his cabinet and his able navigation of the shifting tides of war, No End Save Victory is the definitive account of Americas preparations for and entry into World War II. As Kaiser shows, it was Roosevelts masterful leadership and prescience that prepared the reluctant nation to fightand gave it the tools to win.
Michael Beschloss, New York Times Book Review
[A] judicious, detailed and soundly researched history.... Kaiser has brought us a careful, nuanced, credible account of the events and complex issues surrounding Americas entry into World War II, which, however historical fashions change, is likely to wear well over the years.”
Wall Street Journal
Mr. Kaiser…offers a tightly focused examination of Roosevelts foreign policy from the defeat of France in May 1940 to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.... Most will value Mr. Kaiser's clearly written narrative, which focuses on the improvisational planning of the president and the men around him.”
Others have written about this period, but few with his precision and insight.... His thoroughly researched and well-informed narrative of what happened on the road to war makes the book fully worth the cover price.”
Battles and Book Reviews
An interesting and compelling account of the events in America during the 18 months prior to American entry into WWII.... I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in World War II, but especially to people who think they are familiar with Americas role in that war. An outstanding book.”
Kaisers research is both comprehensive and illuminating.... An admiring, richly textured portrait of a leader confronting the unthinkable.”
Williamson Murray, author of A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War
"David Kaiser has written an outstanding book on Franklin Roosevelt's strategic course in the dark days, from the late 1930s to America's entrance into the Second World War. Among its many strong points is a revealing and persuasive reconsideration of Roosevelt's strategic thinking during this period. Above all Kaiser's portrait underlines that without the president's wisdom and political sagacity, the Germans might well have won the war. This is a book that anyone with an interest in that terrible conflict must read."
Jeremi Suri, author of Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama
Franklin Roosevelt remains the most important and puzzling American war leader of the last century. David Kaiser's fascinating book offers powerful and relevant insights into how Roosevelt transformed an isolationist country with an ill-prepared military into a united and formidable fighting force. Kaiser shows how Roosevelt anticipated dangerous developments, how he invented new procedures for war preparations, and how he persuaded a skeptical public to fight an extended war. Roosevelt displayed a mix of strategic foresight, political acumen, and public charisma that our country has not seen again. Kaiser's book is vitally important because it demystifies Roosevelt, making him a realistic model for our own times.”
Douglas Porch, Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and author of The Path to Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in WWII
"David Kaiser combines meticulous research with a fluent and compelling chronicle of FDR's crucial impact on U.S. preparedness on the eve of World War II.”
Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter
An effective and important account of a key episode in American and world history. Noted historian David Kaiser skilfully links domestic and international developments to tell a fascinating story.”
About the Author
has taught history at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the Naval War College, and Williams College. The author of seven books, including The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
, Kaiser lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Generation, A Man, A Moment
Chapter 1: Civilization Under Threat, May 1940
Chapter 2: Arms and Politics, May–August 1940
Chapter 3: The Growing Threat of World War, June–September 1940
Chapter 4: Reelection and Reassessment, October 1940–January 1941
Chapter 5: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, January–May 1941
Chapter 6: Enlisting the Nation: January–June 1941
Chapter 7: Toward World War, June–August 1941
Chapter 8: Planning for Victory, August–November 1941
Chapter 9: To Pearl Harbor, October–December 1941
Epilogue: Generations in Crisis