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The Mantle of Command Audiobook

The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942

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Publisher's Summary

Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR's masterful - and underappreciated - command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes listeners inside FDR's White House Oval Study - his personal command center - and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war. Time and again, FDR was proven right and his allies and generals were wrong. When the generals wanted to attack the Nazi-fortified coast of France, FDR knew the Allied forces weren't ready. When Churchill insisted his Far East colonies were loyal and would resist the Japanese, Roosevelt knew it was a fantasy. As Hamilton's account reaches its climax with the Torch landings in North Africa, in late 1942, the tide of war turns in the Allies' favor and FDR's genius for psychology and military affairs is clear. This must-listen account is an intimate, sweeping look at a great president in history's greatest conflict.

©2014 Nigel Hamilton (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This convincingly written and gripping volume is essential for historians, political scientists, and history buffs, for a deeper understanding of the principle of civilian supremacy of the military in the U.S. political system." (Library Journal Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (132 )
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  •  
    Greg chesterton, in, United States 08-30-15
    Greg chesterton, in, United States 08-30-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Placing Roosevelt a the center of WW2 strategy"

    I've read a number of books on WWII and they've mostly followed the military perspective. This book clearly places Roosevelt as the decision maker on the US side at the beginning of the war and it describes the early arguments from his side. The book seems well documented with many, perhaps too many, excerpts from letters and diaries.
    I felt there was too much repetition leading up to the African landings and then the book suddenly ended. I don't know if the material ran out (FDR was highly secretive) or the military took over control.
    From my perspective this is an original and important book. I've picked up a couple of other books on FDR to try to validate some of these conclusions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SAM 01-15-15
    SAM 01-15-15
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    "Refreshing Angle on FDR"

    Excellent narrator. Engaging, well-written story. Not just a rehash of other books. I thought the author was very insightful and enjoyed the book. Have listened twice already.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08-29-14
    David 08-29-14
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    "Disappointing lack of new material"
    Any additional comments?

    The author adds little to our understanding of Roosevelt's thoughts or style of command. He spends far too much of the book simply castigating Winston Churchill for the failures of British arms while at the same time ensuring that America's disasters of December 1941 are laid on the military commanders. For readers interested in criticism of Churchill there are better sources.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JB Nebraska 08-18-17
    JB Nebraska 08-18-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Revisionism without the support."

    Hamilton main thesis here is that North Africa in 42 was all FDR. Unfortunately the argument is weak and one gets lost in all the basic factual errors along the way.

    In addition, the subtitle should be "WSC a study in failure". While stumbling along, Hamilton revels in letting us know Churchill liked to drink. Who knew?

    Simply put FDR agreed with WSC, for nothing more than politics- mid terms at that, over his own service chiefs and Torch was born. Good thing he went along, as it was the best option and saved his 'broad front non political generals' a war altering defeat in France in 43.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles W. Maas Now in Sacramento 07-02-17
    Charles W. Maas Now in Sacramento 07-02-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Powerful story of FDR"
    Would you listen to The Mantle of Command again? Why?

    Yes, but I got more out of reading the text. The combination of both was best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    How powerful is the presidency? When I read this and Commander in Chief, I really understood how powerful is the position of President of the US. FDR was the most powerful man in the world during his war time presidency years. Fortunately he was the right man for the times. His decisions led to the allies march to victory. It is scary to think what would have happened if Churchill had his way. FDR was charismatic, wise, and persuasive. Certainly the marks of a leader.


    What about James Langton’s performance did you like?

    I always find that a British accent is harder for me to follow closely than American. I frequently missed points and was glad I had the book to read to follow up.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I would not change the tag line on the book, FDR at War, 1941-42.


    Any additional comments?

    Obviously, you must read Commander in Chief which covers most of 1943. Hopefully, Mr. Hamilton is working on "the rest of the story".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    kiki 03-25-17
    kiki 03-25-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Outstanding"

    Sometimes a bit too much detail, at least for recorded format, this was otherwise insightful and fascinating. Performance was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olawale J. Ogundana 03-20-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent book"

    Excellent book. Very enlightening. I have one complaint though. The book ended so abruptly, I felt like I had just read half a book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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