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Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World

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Overview

“A fascinating and well-written account of a little-known chapter that was crucial to the course of World War II and to America’s global leadership.” —Henry A. Kissinger

In the dark days between Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 and Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent five remarkable men—Sumner Welles, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Harry Hopkins, Averell Harriman, and Wendell Willkie—on dramatic and dangerous missions to Europe....

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Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and into the World

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Overview

“A fascinating and well-written account of a little-known chapter that was crucial to the course of World War II and to America’s global leadership.” —Henry A. Kissinger

In the dark days between Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 and Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent five remarkable men—Sumner Welles, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Harry Hopkins, Averell Harriman, and Wendell Willkie—on dramatic and dangerous missions to Europe. The five envoys’ highly unorthodox missions took them into the middle of the war and exposed them to the leading figures of the age. Taken together, they plot the arc of America’s transformation from a divided and hesitant middle power into a global leader. Drawing on vast archival research, Rendezvous with Destiny is narrative history at its most delightful, stirring, and important.

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Editorial Reviews

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For most Americans, World War II really began with the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. For President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his top-level advisors, it began more than a year earlier. As this revelatory new book shows, FDR's efforts focused not on Japan, but on Hitler's Germany. With consummate planning, the commander in chief dispatched five men on missions to embattled Europe. This talented quintet (Harry Hopkins, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Sumner Welles, Averell Harriman, and Wendell Willkie) shored up support and morale among our future allies. Bolstered by extensive research, this fascinating narrative retrieves the story of the war before the war.

Library Journal
Sumner Welles, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Harry Hopkins, Averell Harriman, Wendell Willkie. These were the five men Roosevelt sent to Europe in the years after Hitler's invasion of Poland to see what America could do to shore up Europe's beleaguered democracies. They had different tasks—Hopkins explained lend-lease to Churchill, for instance, while Harriman delivered aid to London. Fullilove, executive director of Australia's Lowy Institute, tells history by painting portraits.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143125624
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 6/24/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 309,409
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Fullilove is the executive director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2014

    Highly Recommended - If you are interested in the why's and how's of America's involvement in WWII you must check it out!!

    Well written and documented and easy to follow. You will see just how worldly astute and politically adroit FDR was in leading the U.S. from a predominantly isolationist, agrarian society into an international, industrial power, while saving our free way of life in the process.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Putting america into war is a miracle

    Three things put man into war. Honor. Fear. And self interest.
    America will never go to war unless its for self interest.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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