Louis Johnson and the Arming of America: The Roosevelt and Truman Years

Louis Johnson and the Arming of America: The Roosevelt and Truman Years

by Keith D. McFarland, David L. Roll
     
 

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As FDR's assistant secretary of war, and Truman's secretary of defense, Johnson confronted and carried out extremely unpopular initiatives that each president believed vital to the nation's security and economic welfare. This chronicles the rise and fall of this major national figure.See more details below

Overview


As FDR's assistant secretary of war, and Truman's secretary of defense, Johnson confronted and carried out extremely unpopular initiatives that each president believed vital to the nation's security and economic welfare. This chronicles the rise and fall of this major national figure.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This scholarly biography of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson (1891-1966) will be an important resource for the study of American defense policy. After serving in WWI, Johnson was active in veterans' affairs until he was appointed assistant secretary of war in 1937. Under FDR, he did valuable work in preparing for wartime procurement and mobilization; later, in 1948, his work as a Democratic fund-raiser brought him to the Pentagon as secretary of defense. Talented as he was, however, Johnson was a difficult personality who did not get along well with Secretary of War Harry Woodring or the navy. His budget cutting was extreme and involved canceling the supercarrier United States, which provoked the notorious 1949 "Revolt of the Admirals." Further disagreements with Secretary of State Dean Acheson and with President Truman culminated in Johnson's dismissal in the early stages of the Korean War. Though the authors may go too far in their denigration of Truman's leadership-two egos the size of Acheson's and Johnson's are hard to handle in one cabinet-they are right to point out that many of Johnson's problems derived from his position as an early internationalist and advocate of preparedness. He may have lacked tact but not insight or ability. The authors give Johnson credit for his many very real achievements, and at least partly rescue his reputation from historians loyal to Truman and the U.S. Navy. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A remarkably objective, yet sympathetic, study of Louis Johnson’s life and career. Now only half—remembered,... Johnson was a major national figure. Colorful, aggressive, independent—minded, egotistical, his strong views and conflicts with Dean Acheson proved to be his undoing. All in all, a fascinating tale." —James R. Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense

"McFarland and Roll have performed a real service in rescuing from obscurity this Democratic mover and shaker. Their account of the rise and fall of Louis Johnson provides us with the fullest depiction yet of an important Washington figure employed for better or worse as a blunt instrument of policy change by both Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman." —Alonzo L. Hamby, author of Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman and For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s

"Without question this is an important new addition to World War II and Cold War historiography.... Highly recommended." —Douglas Brinkley, author of Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years and The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey beyond the White House

"[Johnson’s] career is a cautionary tale of how even the most ruthlessly effective men can become pawns in the Washington power game. McFarland and Roll bring Johnson to life in this thorough and well—told history." —Evan Thomas, Newsweek, author of Robert Kennedy: His Life and The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA

"... If Patrick Henry was right about the 'lamp of experience' as our only guide to the future, then this book should be read by all who work within the defense community. The authors offer insightful and timeless conclusions about the personalities that clash and the relationships that form at the very highest levels of the American government. —Parameters http://carlisle—www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/06autumn/au" —rev.htm

Indiana University Press

Douglas Brinkley

"Without question this is an important new addition to World War II and Cold War historiography.... Highly recommended." —Douglas Brinkley, author of Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years and The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey beyond the White House

James R. Schlesinger

"A remarkably objective, yet sympathetic, study of Louis Johnson’s life and career. Now only half—remembered,... Johnson was a major national figure. Colorful, aggressive, independent—minded, egotistical, his strong views and conflicts with Dean Acheson proved to be his undoing. All in all, a fascinating tale." —James R. Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense

Alonzo L. Hamby

"McFarland and Roll have performed a real service in rescuing from obscurity this Democratic mover and shaker. Their account of the rise and fall of Louis Johnson provides us with the fullest depiction yet of an important Washington figure employed for better or worse as a blunt instrument of policy change by both Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman." —Alonzo L. Hamby, author of Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman and For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s

Evan Thomas

"[Johnson’s] career is a cautionary tale of how even the most ruthlessly effective men can become pawns in the Washington power game. McFarland and Roll bring Johnson to life in this thorough and well—told history." —Evan Thomas, Newsweek, author of Robert Kennedy: His Life and The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253111647
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
10/04/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
1,041,883
File size:
1 MB

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