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The Washington War: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II

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A Team of Rivals for World War II--the inside story of how FDR and the towering personalities around him waged war in the corridors of Washington, D.C., to secure ultimate victory on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. The Washington War is the story of how the Second World War was fought and won in the capital's corridors of power--and how the United States, which A Team of Rivals for World War II--the inside story of how FDR and the towering personalities around him waged war in the corridors of Washington, D.C., to secure ultimate victory on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. The Washington War is the story of how the Second World War was fought and won in the capital's corridors of power--and how the United States, which in December 1941 had a nominal army and a decimated naval fleet, was able in only thirty months to fling huge forces onto the European continent and shortly thereafter shatter Imperial Japan's Pacific strongholds. Three quarters of a century after the overwhelming defeat of the totalitarian Axis forces, the terrifying, razor-thin calculus on which so many critical decisions turned has been forgotten--but had any of these debates gone the other way, the outcome of the war could have been far different: The army in August 1941, about to be disbanded, saved by a single vote. Production plans that would have delayed adequate war mat�riel for years after Pearl Harbor, circumvented by one uncompromising man's courage and drive. The delicate ballet that precluded a separate peace between Stalin and Hitler. The almost-adopted strategy to stage D-Day at a fatally different time and place. It was all a breathtakingly close-run thing, again and again. Renowned historian James Lacey takes readers behind the scenes in the cabinet rooms, the Pentagon, the Oval Office, and Hyde Park, and at the pivotal conferences--Campobello Island, Casablanca, Tehran--as these disputes raged. Here are colorful portraits of the great figures--and forgotten geniuses--of the day: New Dealers versus industrialists, political power brokers versus the generals, Churchill and the British high command versus the U.S. chiefs of staff, innovators versus entrenched bureaucrats . . . with the master manipulator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the center, setting his brawling patriots one against the other and promoting and capitalizing on the furious turf wars. Based on years of research and extensive, previously untapped archival resources, The Washington War is the first integrated, comprehensive chronicle of how all these elements--and towering personalities--clashed and ultimately coalesced at each vital turning point, the definitive account of Washington at real war and the titanic political and bureaucratic infighting that miraculously led to final victory.


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A Team of Rivals for World War II--the inside story of how FDR and the towering personalities around him waged war in the corridors of Washington, D.C., to secure ultimate victory on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. The Washington War is the story of how the Second World War was fought and won in the capital's corridors of power--and how the United States, which A Team of Rivals for World War II--the inside story of how FDR and the towering personalities around him waged war in the corridors of Washington, D.C., to secure ultimate victory on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. The Washington War is the story of how the Second World War was fought and won in the capital's corridors of power--and how the United States, which in December 1941 had a nominal army and a decimated naval fleet, was able in only thirty months to fling huge forces onto the European continent and shortly thereafter shatter Imperial Japan's Pacific strongholds. Three quarters of a century after the overwhelming defeat of the totalitarian Axis forces, the terrifying, razor-thin calculus on which so many critical decisions turned has been forgotten--but had any of these debates gone the other way, the outcome of the war could have been far different: The army in August 1941, about to be disbanded, saved by a single vote. Production plans that would have delayed adequate war mat�riel for years after Pearl Harbor, circumvented by one uncompromising man's courage and drive. The delicate ballet that precluded a separate peace between Stalin and Hitler. The almost-adopted strategy to stage D-Day at a fatally different time and place. It was all a breathtakingly close-run thing, again and again. Renowned historian James Lacey takes readers behind the scenes in the cabinet rooms, the Pentagon, the Oval Office, and Hyde Park, and at the pivotal conferences--Campobello Island, Casablanca, Tehran--as these disputes raged. Here are colorful portraits of the great figures--and forgotten geniuses--of the day: New Dealers versus industrialists, political power brokers versus the generals, Churchill and the British high command versus the U.S. chiefs of staff, innovators versus entrenched bureaucrats . . . with the master manipulator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the center, setting his brawling patriots one against the other and promoting and capitalizing on the furious turf wars. Based on years of research and extensive, previously untapped archival resources, The Washington War is the first integrated, comprehensive chronicle of how all these elements--and towering personalities--clashed and ultimately coalesced at each vital turning point, the definitive account of Washington at real war and the titanic political and bureaucratic infighting that miraculously led to final victory.

30 review for The Washington War: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    The description of this book on the inside cover states A Team of Rivals for World War II. I have read Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals and it tells of how Abraham Lincoln worked with his staff in making decisions during the Civil War. This book tells of how Franklin Roosevelt worked with his staff even his top military advisers in making crucial decisions during World War II.

  2. 4 out of 5

    KOMET

    For a book of such magisterial scope centered around the greatest military conflict in world history, "THE WASHINGTON WAR: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II" is brilliant. It lays out in considerable detail, the key personalities (military and civilian) and the events in which each of them played out their roles in organizing and managing the war effort -- with President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the lodestar in the national constellation -- from the late 1930s (w For a book of such magisterial scope centered around the greatest military conflict in world history, "THE WASHINGTON WAR: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II" is brilliant. It lays out in considerable detail, the key personalities (military and civilian) and the events in which each of them played out their roles in organizing and managing the war effort -- with President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the lodestar in the national constellation -- from the late 1930s (when it became clear to FDR and several other prominent Americans both within and outside the Roosevelt Administration that another world war was on the horizon and the U.S. needed to be prepared to meet the challenges it was likely to present to the nation) to Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945 with the certainty of a decisive Allied victory clearly in sight in both Europe and the Pacific. Two of the best selling points about this book is (1) its easy readability and (2) a list provided by the author of the key personalities with brief personal histories and a summation of the wartime roles they performed. Indeed, the author "takes readers behind the scenes in the cabinet rooms, the Pentagon, the Oval Office, and Hyde Park, and at the pivotal conferences — Campobello Island, Casablanca, Tehran, Yalta — as these disputes raged. Here are colorful portraits of the great figures— and forgotten geniuses— of the day: New Dealers versus industrialists, political power brokers versus the generals, Churchill and the British high command versus the U.S. chiefs of staff, innovators versus entrenched bureaucrats . . . with the master manipulator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the center, setting his brawling patriots one against the other and promoting and capitalizing on the furious turf wars." I learned so much from reading this book of what really went on in FDR's efforts to build a national consensus for preparedness as Europe edged towards war in 1938 and 1939 (the power and influence of the isolationist wing in the U.S. was considerable; so FDR had to watch every step he made and not appear to be pushing the country towards war) and the difficulties, even after the U.S. entered the war, to organize the country's industrial might to produce the necessary materials and equipment -- as well as train and deploy millions of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen to the various fighting fronts --- to win the war. Without a doubt, "THE WASHINGTON WAR" will become the go to resource for anyone who wants to understand how the U.S. managed to successfully prosecute the Second World War in both the military and political spheres. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peppy

    The Washington War is a fascinating account of how FDR brilliantly managed to bring together American businessman, US politicians, the US military, along with the difficult to deal with foreign Allied leaders (Churchill and Stalin), to create a unified strategy to defeat the Axis and win WWll. This book is an intense rendering of the behind the scene events and impassioned negotiations that lead to the defeat of the Axis powers. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was attuned to public opinion o The Washington War is a fascinating account of how FDR brilliantly managed to bring together American businessman, US politicians, the US military, along with the difficult to deal with foreign Allied leaders (Churchill and Stalin), to create a unified strategy to defeat the Axis and win WWll. This book is an intense rendering of the behind the scene events and impassioned negotiations that lead to the defeat of the Axis powers. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was attuned to public opinion on the war and knew how to work it to gain the support of the populous when he needed it the most. FDR was a leader with great instincts. In a key move, Roosevelt appointed Gen. George Marshall (“Architect of Victory”), as the US Army chief of staff who in an amazing short period of time, created a massive expansion of a small US Army and a navy in disrepair after Pearl Harbor. General Marshall was principal in creating the U.S. war strategy which led to victory over the Axis Powers. This is a must read for history lovers of the World War ll era.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    This book is well written and researched. It details the leadership style of Franklin Roosevelt in the timespan leading up to and then in World War II. He made many mistakes, but quickly moved on. He also had the trend of quickly discarding someone when they were no longer of use to him (normally in the callous way of having someone else do the deed for him). The author's writing style makes this an interesting read while also be informative. I have read a great deal about President Franklin Roo This book is well written and researched. It details the leadership style of Franklin Roosevelt in the timespan leading up to and then in World War II. He made many mistakes, but quickly moved on. He also had the trend of quickly discarding someone when they were no longer of use to him (normally in the callous way of having someone else do the deed for him). The author's writing style makes this an interesting read while also be informative. I have read a great deal about President Franklin Roosevelt and this time period, but I learned a great many new things that I do not recall reading about prior to this book. I recomend this book for those looking for more information on the specifics of the behind the scenes debates that led to the United States entrance into World Warr II and thereafter. I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    Fascinating chronicle of how FDR used his position as President to successfully navigate, and ultimately win, the behind the scenes struggles surrounding the conduct of WWII. He used his instincts to manage public opinion, to select the right people for the right jobs, and to guide those people to be the best they could be. The more I read about FDR, the more I am convinced that he was one of the greatest Presidents we have had. And this book just adds to that opinion. Well researched and writte Fascinating chronicle of how FDR used his position as President to successfully navigate, and ultimately win, the behind the scenes struggles surrounding the conduct of WWII. He used his instincts to manage public opinion, to select the right people for the right jobs, and to guide those people to be the best they could be. The more I read about FDR, the more I am convinced that he was one of the greatest Presidents we have had. And this book just adds to that opinion. Well researched and written, the book flows well and keeps you engaged. Highly recommend to any Presidential political junkie, as well as to students of the conduct of WWII.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Deal

    A great look into FDR’s inner circle covering how the each got there, there importance to FDR and the war effort and sometimes their downfalls as well. A very good look at it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Richard Marney

    Rubber, oil and steel. Three commodities central to the allied war effort in WWII. Overcoming the bureaucratic infighting and conflicting economic priorities in order to maximise availability and optimize allocation is hardly the stuff of a Brad Pitt or George Clooney movie, but in truth, was important to winning the war. This is one example of many episodes the author shares with us in a fascinating view of the corridors of power in the FDR administration during the War. Whilst the commentary o Rubber, oil and steel. Three commodities central to the allied war effort in WWII. Overcoming the bureaucratic infighting and conflicting economic priorities in order to maximise availability and optimize allocation is hardly the stuff of a Brad Pitt or George Clooney movie, but in truth, was important to winning the war. This is one example of many episodes the author shares with us in a fascinating view of the corridors of power in the FDR administration during the War. Whilst the commentary on the great battles building up to the defeat of the Axis Powers and on the laying the foundations of the post war era is well crafted and informative, there are many books that do this already. The special contribution of Mr. Lacey is to give us a building pass for Washington during this unique period in American history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luis Cuesta

    I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. The “Washington war” of James Lacey’s title was the complex series of battles within the U.S. bureaucracy over America’s conduct on World War II. In breathtaking and thorough detail, Lacey takes us through all the fighting and difficulties of winning a war and provides the reader a really interesting look at FDR as a presidential leader that allowed and to a certain extent encouraged this human free for all of ambition, pride, and self-interest as lo I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. The “Washington war” of James Lacey’s title was the complex series of battles within the U.S. bureaucracy over America’s conduct on World War II. In breathtaking and thorough detail, Lacey takes us through all the fighting and difficulties of winning a war and provides the reader a really interesting look at FDR as a presidential leader that allowed and to a certain extent encouraged this human free for all of ambition, pride, and self-interest as long as it served the greater good of defeating the Axis powers. Well written and researched, I would recommend this book for those looking for more information on the specifics of the behind the scenes debates that led to the United States entrance into World Warr II and thereafter.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edna Wilkerson

    An inside look at power and politics This book is well researched and forms a tapestry of events during WWII and the personalities involved that fought and resolved this conflagration. Parts and pieces of these years are covered in greater detail in many other books as well as in biographies of the primary figures. However this gives a plausible narrative of the whole in which many questions are answered. Born in 1943, I grew up not understanding how much of this could have happened as history taug An inside look at power and politics This book is well researched and forms a tapestry of events during WWII and the personalities involved that fought and resolved this conflagration. Parts and pieces of these years are covered in greater detail in many other books as well as in biographies of the primary figures. However this gives a plausible narrative of the whole in which many questions are answered. Born in 1943, I grew up not understanding how much of this could have happened as history taught us and books recorded personal biases without explaining the how and why. This book fills that gap.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim Blessing

    This was a VERY good read, especially the first part of it. I have read several books on this subject. This one provided me with a lot of inside information that I have not gotten from previous books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dale Bentz

    Fascinating read. Gives keen insight into the power struggles and personality conflicts of US and British (and Stalin) leaders prior to and during WWII. What a grand effort it took to get the US production force (and military) mobilized and ready to fight. Its scale is nearly incomprehensible.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    FDR’s Team Great read that lays out FDR’s Team as they prepare for and execute a world war. Interesting the role of domestic politics in the President’s approach to many issues facing the nation leading up to entry into combat.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Annm

    FOr the research and information I would have given it a five. For the arrogant 20/20 hindsight, it gets a four.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I found The Washington War: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II to be a fascinating read. I give it four and a half stars.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Human Being

    Interesting well written but as usual for an American writer very pro American.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Lane

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Jones

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pei-Chih Chen

  20. 4 out of 5

    J. D. Dreyer

  21. 5 out of 5

    Random House Book Club

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Carson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joaquin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Book

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  29. 5 out of 5

    M. Bywater

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marge

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