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Publisher's Summary

In 1941: Fighting the Shadow War: A Divided America in a World at War, historian Marc Wortman thrillingly explores the little-known history of America's clandestine involvement in World War II before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Prior to that infamous day, America had long been involved in a shadow war. Winston Churchill, England's beleaguered new prime minister, pleaded with Franklin D. Roosevelt for help. FDR concocted ingenious ways to come to his aid without breaking the Neutrality Acts. Launching Lend-Lease, conducting espionage at home and in South America to root out Nazi sympathizers, and waging undeclared war in the Atlantic were just some of the tactics with which FDR battled Hitler in the shadows.

FDR also had to contend with growing isolationism and anti-Semitism as he tried to influence public opinion. While Americans were sympathetic to those being crushed under Axis power, they were unwilling to enter a foreign war.

Wortman tells the story through the eyes of the powerful as well as ordinary citizens. Their stories weave throughout the intricate tapestry of events that unfold during the crucial year of 1941. Combining military and political history, Wortman tells the eye-opening story of how FDR took the country to war.

©2016 Marc Wortman (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, well worth the time to read or listen.

Excellent narration. I listened to this oddly enough on June 6th and finished the December 7th chapters the next morning. There were dialogues scattered through the book that the author assumed, but I suspect these were in line with the characters and circumstances and did not distract. The author's research and notes in the epilogue are comprehensive. I was born 6 weeks before Dec 7th and wish I could ask my parents about this period from 1939 to 1941. They were always intensely interested in local and federal government and politics and I know they would have followed the news and have reactions. My sister recalls her and my brother collecting scrap metal and similar activities in the war effort. I have always been so intrigued with WWII and have read many histories of the period, including Shirer's "The Nightmare Years", the Churchll series, etc. This book adds to my collection but raises questions as well. I highly recommend the book and the audio version is very well done.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Other reasons

Also valuable to read are the mantle of command and five days in London both on audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Look Behind the Curtain

Marc Wortman has turned back a corner of WWII history and revealed the dynamics going on leading up to December 7th, that day of infamy. He presents the public view and the intrigue behind the curtain of secrecy, including both overt and covert actions that positioned the United States on the precipice of war. The characters and personalities are fascinating, even those we know well like FDR. Well worth the time!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great and scary

Good history , very much similar to what's happening today.
Which is why it's scary. Listening and learn .

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  • james
  • NEW WINDSOR, NY, United States
  • 07-24-16

the road to war

everyone knows of the point at which the U.S. joined World War II, but now learn of the road to Pearl Harbor the U.S. trecked through as anti-war activist faced off against pro-Democracy activists.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What's the Audible equivalent of a page-turner?

Marc Wortman really brought the period to life. Narrative history remains alive and well!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States
  • 05-17-16

Pedestrian Progressive Account

Wortman's account is somewhat entertaining, but dutifully ignores the propaganda campaign FDR waged, and his reasoning behind it, to move public opinion leftward to accept his fascism. Mentions The Brain Trust of unelected co-conspirators or "Fellow Travelers" who administered FDR's war-mongering as a means of acquiring power and making it permanent by means of extending his presidency and thereby leftward-packing the SCOTUS to this day. FDR fans and other government subjects will enjoy this one. Sovereign citizens hold your stomach. Sycophant Alert!

0 of 5 people found this review helpful