The greatest fraud this country has ever known. An amusing and charming fellow but a man entirely without a conscience…. Roosevelt was the perfect politician… H. L. Mencken


In one of the ironies of history FDR rode to the Capitol to declare war on the Empire of Japan in a bullet proof limousine that the federal government had seized from Al Capone. We credit this as ironical because ever since June 4, 1940 and the final evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk – or since Churchill’s becoming prime minister on May 10, 1940 – these two had worked hand in glove to maneuver the United States into the war using tactics that might have caused Capone to blush. While this book doesn’t reveal anything previously unknown it does provide a good digest of one day that contains many of the elements of the deceptions that FDR used throughout his presidency to rule and ruin.

Pearl Harbor bombing. USS Downes and Cassin. The jumbled mass of wreckage in the foreground of drydock number one are the U.S. destroyers, Downes (left) and Cassin (right). The battleship in the rear is the USS Pennsylvania, 33,100 ton flagship of the Pacific Fleet, which suffered relatively light damage during the Japanese attack. The Pennsylvania was repaired shortly after the attack. Main and auxiliary machinery fittings of the Downes and Cassin are being transferred to new hulls

Pearl Harbor bombing. USS Downes and Cassin. The jumbled mass of wreckage in the foreground of drydock number one are the U.S. destroyers, Downes (left) and Cassin (right). The battleship in the rear is the USS Pennsylvania, 33,100 ton flagship of the Pacific Fleet, which suffered relatively light damage during the Japanese attack. The Pennsylvania was repaired shortly after the attack. Main and auxiliary machinery fittings of the Downes and Cassin are being transferred to new hulls

Pearl Harbor : FDR leads the nation into war Steven M. Gillon New York : Basic Books, c 2011 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xvi, 224 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the declaration of war as Sen. Tom Connally holds the watch to fix the exact time

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the declaration of war as Sen. Tom Connally holds the watch to fix the exact time

Franklin D. Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” History would prove him correct; the events of that day-when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor – ended the Great Depression, changed the course of FDR’s presidency, and swept America into World War II. In Pearl Harbor, Gillon provides a minute-by-minute account of Roosevelt’s manipulations and equivocations in the wake of the most devastating military assault on American in history. FDR proved both decisive and deceptive, inspiring the nation while keeping the real facts of the causes and costs of the attack a secret from congressional leaders and the public.

Corner of Montgomery and Market Streets, Monday morning, December 8, 1941, after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. San Francisco, California

Corner of Montgomery and Market Streets, Monday morning, December 8, 1941, after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. San Francisco, California

Pearl Harbor explores the anxious and emotional events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, showing how the president and the American public responded in the pivotal twenty-four hours that followed, a period in which America burst from precarious peace into total war.

Seamen at Kaneohe Naval Air Station decorate the graves of their fellow sailors killed at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

Seamen at Kaneohe Naval Air Station decorate the graves of their fellow sailors killed at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

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