Tuesday, August 19, 2003
On the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein discusses the book The New Dealers' War by Thomas Fleming. In his posting, David moves into a discussion of FDR's handling of the Great Depression. I've recently finished The New Dealers' War myself and its an interesting take on the administration of the time leading up to World War II and the conduct of the war itself. I think the core takeaway from the book is the astonishingly incompetent administration style of FDR himself.
There are several areas where Fleming concentrates upon FDR's style and its impact on US policy, such as domestic economic policy during the war, the confused manner in which post-war policy with respect to how Germany would be treated was developed ( the infamous "Morganthau Plan" ), and the equally infamous "unconditional surrender" announcement.
Michael Beschloss' book The Conquerors spends much of its length on those issues as well. Beschloss' book is among his weaker works in my opinion.
Fleming also describes how FDR deceived the American public regarding his failing health during the 1944 reelection campaign - all the more irresponsible given the confused manner in which Harry Truman was selected as Vice President in place of the radical Henry Wallace.
More lightly touched was FDR's deceptive campaign of 1940 where FDR essentially deceived the American public to vote for him by denying his true policies and intentions with respect to American entry into WWII. And the extensive penetration of the FDR administration by Communist agents.
Robin 9:46 AM