Despite all that has already been written on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Persico has uncovered a hitherto overlooked dimension of FDR's wartime leadership: his involvement in intelligence and espionage operations.
Roosevelt's Secret War is crowded with remarkable revelations:
-FDR wanted to bomb Tokyo before Pearl Harbor
-A defector from Hitler's inner circle reported directly to the Oval Office
-Roosevelt knew before any other world leader of Hitler's plan to invade Russia
-Roosevelt and Churchill concealed a disaster costing hundreds of British soldiers' lives in order to protect Ultra, the British codebreaking secret
-An unwitting Japanese diplomat provided the President with a direct pipeline into Hitler's councils
Roosevelt's Secret War also describes how much FDR had been told--before the Holocaust--about the coming fate of Europe's Jews. And Persico also provides a definitive answer to the perennial question Did FDR know in advance about the attack on Pearl Harbor?
By temperament and character, no American president was better suited for secret warfare than FDR. He manipulated, compartmentalized, dissembled, and misled, demonstrating a spymaster's talent for intrigue. He once remarked, "I never let my right hand know what my left hand does." Not only did Roosevelt create America's first central intelligence agency, the OSS, under "Wild Bill" Donovan, but he ran spy rings directly from the Oval Office, enlisting well-placed socialite friends.
FDR was also spied against . Roosevelt's Secret War presents evidence that the Soviet Union had a source inside the Roosevelt White House; that British agents fed FDR total fabrications to draw the United States into war; and that Roosevelt, by yielding to Churchill's demand that British scientists be allowed to work on the Manhattan Project, enabled the secrets of the bomb to be stolen. And these are only a few of the scores of revelations in this constantly surprising story of Roosevelt's hidden role in World War II.
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|Title of eBook: Roosevelt's Secret War|
|Release Date: 11-06-2001|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Roosevelt's Secret War
THE DATE was May 12, 1938. With three bells announcing his arrival, trailed by trotting Secret Service agents lugging wire baskets of official papers, FDR propelled his wheelchair from the first-floor elevator into the Oval Office where he summoned Missy LeHand. As she came in, the President greeted his secretary with a blinding smile and an expression that said, what does the world have in store for Franklin Roosevelt today?
It was nearly 11 a.m. as the softly attractive LeHand sat down and propped her steno pad on her knee. By now, eighteen years at his side, through his glowing early promise, the catastrophe of polio, the slow resuscitation of his spirits and ambitions, she could read FDR's every mood and need instantly. The President took from a can on his cluttered desk one of the forty-odd Camel cigarettes he would smoke that day and inserted it into a nicotine-stained holder. He chose from a wire basket a letter delivered personally to the White House the day before by Uncle Ted's son Kermit Roosevelt. It was from Vincent Astor. Before he began dictating, FDR reread the nineteen handwritten pages in the familiar script. The letterhead read simply Nourmahal, the name of Astor's yacht. The very word suffused FDR with warm memories. He had first sailed the Nourmahal in 1932 while still president-elect. The luxurious oceangoing vessel, manned by a crew of forty-two, recalled America's Cup races off Newport watched from her deck, fishing trips off Long Island Sound, cruises in the Caribbean, card games, drinking, and, for some of Astor's pals, occasional amorous adventures on board.
It was to the Nourmahal, tied up i...