The Washington War

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I found The Washington War: FDR's Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II to be a fascinating read. I give it four and a half stars.
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Fascinating chronicle of how FDR used his position as President to successfully navigate, and ultimately win, the behind the scenes struggles surrounding the conduct of WWII. He used his instincts to manage public opinion, to select the right people for the right jobs, and to guide those people to be the best they could be. 
The more I read about FDR, the more I am convinced that he was one of the greatest Presidents we have had. And this book just adds to that opinion. Well researched and written, the book flows well and keeps you engaged. 
Highly recommend to any Presidential political junkie, as well as to students of the conduct of WWII.
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I love history and have a few books on WWII, however, they center on events in Europe. The blurb from The Washington War grabbed my interest, but not knowing the author worried if it would hold my attention. From the first pages the author pulled me into the events faced by Roosevelt and his administration. I was surprised to read that Roosevelt and some of those around him knew we were headed to war as early has they did. The problem was doing so in a way that the Americian people would agree too. Of course the depletion of the military as a result of the depression causes more than a few issues as well.

Presidential administrations and/or terms is not an area I have more than the basic knowledge of but this book has really opened my interest to this topic. I was always under the impression that Roosevelt was one of the more likeable Presidents, but that was not always the case. In some ways it seems as if Roosevelt's behavior in office can be seen in Washington today.

I am hoping to find more books by James Lacey, and getting The Washington War in hardback as soon as possible
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This book is well written and researched. It details the leadership style of Franklin Roosevelt in the timespan leading up to and then in World War II. He made many mistakes, but quickly moved on. He also had the trend of quickly discarding someone when they were no longer of use to him (normally in the callous way of having someone else do the deed for him). The author's writing style makes this an interesting read while also be informative. I have read a great deal about President Franklin Roosevelt and this time period, but I learned a great many new things that I do not recall reading about prior to this book.

I recomend this book for those looking for more information on the specifics of the behind the scenes debates that led to the United States entrance into World Warr II and thereafter.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook and Twitter pages.
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The Washington War is a fascinating account of how FDR brilliantly managed to bring together American businessman, US politicians, the US military, along with the  difficult to deal with   foreign Allied leaders (Churchill and Stalin),  to create a unified strategy to defeat the Axis and win WWll. This book  is an intense rendering of the behind the scene events and impassioned negotiations that lead to the  defeat of the Axis powers. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was attuned to public opinion on the war and knew how to work it to gain  the support of the populous when he needed it the most.  FDR was a leader with great instincts. In a key move, Roosevelt appointed Gen. George Marshall (“Architect of Victory”), as the US Army chief of staff who in an amazing  short period of time, created a  massive expansion of a  small  US Army and a navy in disrepair after Pearl Harbor. General Marshall  was  principal in  creating the U.S. war strategy which led to victory over  the Axis Powers.  This is a must read for history lovers of the World War ll era.
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Upon reading James Lacey’s The Washington War I can’t help but think “We must’ve hated Hitler real bad.” While it may seem an odd or crazy thing to say, it seems like the fact that we had to win WW2 was the only thing that united the various bureaucratic agencies, military men, and politicians who made the domestic and military decisions that would win the war. 

It would be difficult to outline every fight between persons of different agencies and departments, but for sample purposes: Cordell Hull (Secretary of State) was going at it with Sumner Wells (his deputy), Henry Wallace (VP) was going at it with Jessie Jones (Commerce Secretary and Reconstruction Finance Corp. head), Harold Ickes (Secretary of Interior) detested Harry Hopkins (Top FDR adviser). And this brief list doesn’t even consider the military and bureaucratic head butting between heads of those agencies, which is an artifact of every war.

In breathtaking and thorough detail, Lacey takes us through all the fighting and difficulties of winning a war and provides the reader a really interesting look at FDR as a presidential leader that allowed and to a certain extent encouraged this human free for all of ambition, pride, and self-interest as long as it served the greater good of defeating the Axis powers. 

The Washington War is a very entertaining book that talks about the domestic war within the broader war. Just remember to look back at The Washington Warriors section in front of the book, otherwise you may get lost in a sea of people.
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A superb book about the American leadership in Word War Two, starting at the top with President Roosevelt. Provides excellent profiles of the major military and civilian leaders and their relationships with each other and with their counterparts on the British side.
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