President Roosevelt And The Coming Of The War, 1941

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Overview

Conceived by Charles Beard as a sequel to his provocative study of American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War outraged a nation, permanently damaging Beard's status as America's most influential historian.

Beard's main argument is that both Democratic and Republican leaders, but Roosevelt above all, worked quietly in 1940 and 1941 to insinuate the United States into the Second World War. Basing his work on available congressional records and administrative reports, Beard concludes that FDR's image as a neutral, peace-loving leader was a smokescreen, behind which he planned for war against Germany and Japan even well before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Beard contends that the distinction between aiding allies in Europe like Great Britain and maintaining strict neutrality with respect to nations like Germany and Japan was untenable. Beard does not argue that all nations were alike, or that some did and others did not merit American support, but rather that Roosevelt chose to aid Great Britain secretly and unconstitutionally rather than making the case to the American public. President Roosevelt shifted from a policy of neutrality to one of armed intervention, but he did so without surrendering the appearance, the fiction of neutrality. This core argument makes the work no less explosive in 2003 than it was when first issued in 1948.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I have no hesitation in saying that on the basis of this extended study I am in hearty agreement with the conclusions of Professor Bear. His volume is of great value to every American who wishes to learn what was really behind the great parade of 1941-1945.” —Charles Callan Tansill, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765809988
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Introduction
  • Pages: 650
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles A. Beard (1874-1948) is regarded as one of the most influential American historians in the first half of the twentieth century. He is famous for his evaluation of the founding fathers of the United States, who he believed were motivated by economics as opposed to philosophical principles. Some of his works include An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy, and The Administration and Politics of Tokyo. Campbell Craig is lecturer in American history and director of the honors program in diplomacy and international relations at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He was educated at Carleton College, the University of Chicago, and Ohio University. His current interest is in International Cold War and nuclear history, a topic about which he has written two books.

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Table of Contents

Transaction Introduction
Prefatory Note
Pt. I Appearances
I Moral Commitments for the Conduct of Foreign Affairs in 1941 3
II Representations of Lend-Lease Aid to the Allies 13
III Patrolling as Appearances 69
IV The Atlantic Conference - Appearances 118
V "In Case of Attack" in the Atlantic 133
VI No Call for "Any Declaration of War" 156
VII Appearances of Relations with Japan 176
VIII The Attack - Official Explanation 209
Pt. II Unveiling Realities
IX The Beginning of Revelations 233
X The Official Thesis Challenged in Congress and the Press 250
XI Army and Navy Boards Undermine the Official Thesis 298
XII A Congressional Committee Probes the Records and Reports 326
Pt. III Realities as Described by the Pearl Harbor Documents
XIII Engineering the Official Thesis of Guilt 377
XIV Secret War Decisions and Plans 407
XV Actualities of the Atlantic Conference 452
XVI "Complicated Moves" in Relations with Japan 483
XVII Maneuvering the Japanese into Firing the First Shot 517
Pt. IV Epilogue
XVIII Interpretations Tested by Consequences 573
Index 599
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