Hard Bargain by Robert Shogan, Franklin D. Roosevelt
With Hard Bargain, Robert Shogan offers an account of one of World War II’s most dramatic chapters—the story of how Franklin D. Roosevelt secretly brokered a deal to provide the destroyers Winston Churchill needed to save Britain from destruction. At the center of the momentous events of 1940 are two extraordinary leaders: Churchill, the forthright pragmatist, and Roosevelt, the suave politician. As Hitler’s war machine threatened to starve England into submission, these two men initiated a complex negotiation that would shatter all precedents for conducting foreign policy. FDR yearned to enter the war, but was handcuffed by domestic politics. Churchill had to plead for American intervention at a time when the United States was intensely isolationist. Drawing on archives on both sides of the Atlantic, Shogan masterfully recreates the President’s maneuvers as FDR stepped around the Constitution in order to clinch the deal, a move that has had repercussions from Korea to the Persian Gulf.
Robert Shogan has spent more than thirty years covering the political scene in Washington as national political correspondent for Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Government at the Center for Study of American Government of Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.