How World War II came to America – two titles by way of explanation.


World War II did not start for America on December 7, 1941.

In 1938 Roosevelt’s party lost 72 seats in the House and 7 seats in the Senate which still stands as the record for House seat losses by a modern president. The New Deal had failed to restore the American economy and there were serious challenges from the right and the left. There were also challenges from within the party by those who did not want a Roosevelt for life presidency and held sacred the democratic value of Washington’s example of two terms.

The only thing that could “save” the American economy, without the sacrifices that a free market naturally entails, was war production – using the taxpayer to bail out failed industries and creating the illusion of leadership. What better stooge than Wendell Wilkie? What more Machiavellian partner than Winston Churchill? Although these two titles sing the praises of Wilkie, FDR and Chruchill they at least provide enough information that if you sift through the hagiography you begin to get faint glimmerings of the truth.

Apply these lessons to today and if you aren’t appalled it means you aren’t paying attention!

Five days in Philadelphia : the  amazing “We want Wilkie!” convention of  1940 and how it freed FDR to save the  Western World   Charles  Peters New York : Public Affairs, c 2005   Republican National Convention (1940 :  Philadelphia, Pa.), Willkie, Wendell L.  (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944 Hardcover. 1st  ed. and printing. x, 274 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p.  [251]-260) and index. Clean, tight and  strong binding with clean dust jacket. No  highlighting, underlining or marginalia in  text.  VG/VG

There were four strong contenders when the Republican party met in June of 1940 in Philadelphia to nominate its candidate for president: the crusading young attorney and rising Republican star Tom Dewey, solid members of the Republican establishment Robert Taft and Arthur Vandenberg, and dark horse Wendell Willkie, utilities executive, favorite of the literati and only very recently even a Republican. The leading Republican candidates campaigned as isolationists. The charismatic Willkie, newcomer and upstager, was a liberal interventionist, just as anti-Hitler as FDR. After five days of floor rallies, telegrams from across the country, multiple ballots, rousing speeches, backroom deals, terrifying international news, and, most of all, the relentless chanting of “We Want Willkie” from the gallery, Willkie walked away with the nomination.

The story of how this happened — and of how essential his nomination would prove in allowing FDR to save Britain and prepare this country for entry into World War II — is all told in Charles Peters’ Five Days in Philadelphia. As Peters shows, these five action-packed days and their improbable outcome were as important as the Battle of Britain in defeating the Nazis.

One Christmas in Washington : the  secret meeting between Roosevelt and  Churchill that changed the world   David J. Bercuson and Holger H.  Herwig Woodstock : Overlook Press, 2005   World War, 1939-1945 Diplomatic history  Hardcover. 1st ed., 320 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.  Includes bibliographical references [p.  277-310] and index. Clean, tight and strong  binding with clean dust jacket. No  highlighting, underlining or marginalia in  text.  VG/VG  

One Christmas in Washington is the in-depth look at one of the most crucial moments in modern history: the weeks between December 1941 and January 1942, when Churchill and Roosevelt were together at the White House, forging what turned out to be the Grand Alliance while in the background, a gloomy and confused America went about its Christmas celebrations. Herwig and Bercuson grippingly recreate the dramatic days of the Washington War Conference of 1941-42, using the diaries, meeting notes and personal letters of the key characters. One Christmas in Washington is the authoritative and emotional story of two proud and accomplished men struggling to overcome their own biases, suspicion, and hubris to create what turned out to be a war-winning alliance.

The truth is out there.

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