Susan Butler's brilliantly listenable audiobook firmly places FDR where he belongs, as the American president engaged most directly in diplomacy and strategy, who not only had an ambitious plan for the postwar world but had the strength, ambition, and personal charm to overcome Churchill's reluctance and Stalin's suspicion to bring about what was, in effect, an American peace and to avoid the disastrous consequences that followed the botched peace of Versailles in 1919.
It is at once a long overdue tribute to FDR and his vision and a serious work of history that flows like a novel. I would rank it next to Margaret MacMillan's Paris 1919, and it casts new light on the character and war aims of Stalin, Churchill, and FDR himself. Brava!
©2015 Susan Butler (P)2015 Recorded Books
This is a very interesting and riveting read. The author did a great job of interweaving thoughts and diary entries from many people which showed the thinking of the people involved. She told many details of the events of meetings and communications which enhanced interest. I was unaware of Churchill's actions and reasons for postponing the cross channel invasion and the initial misgivings about the North Africa allied invasion. Also, it seems Eisenhower's reluctance to drive to Berlin and let the Russians lead that effort was news to me. FDR's idea that if we couldn't beat the Russians, we needed to try to work with them and that if you want to have a friend you must be a friend were smart concepts. It is unfortunate that we wasted all that money on the Cold War as Roosevelt had a much wiser approach of trying to be friends with the Russians rather than treating them like enemies. Overall, the book enhances the idea that FDR was masterful, wise and effective in his leadership in WW2.
The book is an inside look at FDR, Churchill, and Stalin's key advisors -- and descriptions of their administrations during WWII and formation of the United Nations. The history is fascinating, because it is not the things taught in history classes. Susan Butler did an excellent job making the book thorough and interesting.
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