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Great presidents seem to attract the most talented assistants. This especially characterized the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the early months leading up to U.S. involvement in World War II. Parrish (Roosevelt and Marshall: Partners in Politics and War) has the writing skills and historical knowledge to tackle how FDR moved the nation from isolationism toward support of the British against Nazi Germany. Parrish focuses on how FDR used Harry Hopkins to check up on Winston Churchill and then relied on Averell Harriman to coordinate and implement the lend-lease program in England. Indifferent to class, position, and bureaucratic organization, FDR simply recognized talent; he knew and trusted the individuals he selected for special assignments. Hopkins and Harriman were both self-starters who became part of an effective and honest team. Though this story will be familiar to many scholars, the author incorporates unpublished interviews with Harriman and his associates and captures the essence of FDR, Harriman, and Hopkins. This page-turner will appeal to general readers interested in FDR, Winston Churchill, and World War II.
—William D. Pederson