Those Angry Days

Those Angry Days

Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941

Book - 2013
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Traces the crisis period leading up to America's entry into World War II, describing the nation's polarized interventionist and isolationist factions as represented by the government, in the press, and on the streets.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400069743
Characteristics: xxii, 548 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Jan 30, 2014

Lynn Olson does it again: breathing life into history through vividly-portrayed characters at a crucial point in world events. Unlike her masterful "Citizens of London: How Britain Was Rescued in Its Darkest, Finest Hour," which focused on Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant, or even her "Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped save England," it's not simply the struggle over isolationism vs intervention in Europe between Lindberg and Roosevelt, as the subtitle suggests. An array of characters on both sides of this crucial debate are profiled, including Philip Kerr, Marquess of Lothian and Ambassador to the US, and a colourful group of upper-crust USAmericans working out of an exclusive club in NY in support of the Brit fight against tyrrany. Wendell Willkie, who ran against FDR, and lost, yet whose sense of right exceeded his partiality to his party, to the chagrin of most isolationist Republicans.
If I have misgivings, it's the scant mention of Joe Kennedy's role in isolationist circles, given that he was the Ambassador to the UK and a Nazi sympathizer; US writers still have trouble writing openly about the family they wish was their royalty, it seems. Also, I quibble with her nil mention of Charlie Chaplin, who opposed all the going tides to express his loathing of Hitler, in "The Great Dictator." No mean achievement that, to put his money and career at risk and sail very much into prevailing winds. Otherwise, she makes interesting various ins-and-outs of internal, past US politicking--a subject that few could ever find gripping. Recommended nearly as much as her other superb books on this crucial era we can still call of "our" times.

Apr 18, 2013

A readable and remarkably detailed history of the period before Pearl Harbor when debate raged in the US over whether and how much to aid Britain in her struggle to avoid defeat by Hitler. Focusing on far more than the struggle between Lindbergh, the isolationist, and FDR who favored intervention but feared defeat in Congress if he moved too fast to aid England; Olson's book details the personalities and strategies of both sides in this epoch debate over the US role in world affairs in a forgotten era


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