FDR Leads the Nation Into War
By Steven M. Gillon
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465021390, 248pp.)
Publication Date: October 2011
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Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” History would prove him correct; the events of that daywhen the Japanese bombed Pearl Harborended the Great Depression, changed the course of FDR’s presidency, and swept America into World War II. In Pearl Harbor, acclaimed historian Steven M. Gillon provides a vivid, minute-by-minute account of Roosevelt’s skillful leadership in the wake of the most devastating military assault in American history. FDR proved both decisive and deceptive, inspiring the nation while keeping the real facts of the attack a secret from congressional leaders and the public.
Pearl Harbor explores the anxious and emotional events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, showing how the president and the American public responded in the pivotal twenty-four hours that followed, a period in which America burst from precarious peace into total war.
Steven M. Gillon is Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma and Resident Historian for the History Channel. The author of numerous works of history, he lives in New York and Oklahoma.
James T. Patterson, Professor of History, Emeritus, Brown University
“Pearl Harbor is a first-rate book by a fine historian. Steven Gillon, closely describing FDR's reactions to the Japanese attack, reminds us of the shrewdness and skill of Roosevelt’s leadership. Both erudite and fast-paced, this is a book for scholars and general readers alike.”
David B. Woolner, Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and Associate Professor of History, Marist College
“In this fascinating account of the first 24 hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Steven Gillon manages to capture not only the essence of perhaps the most critical day in twentieth century American history; but also the essence of the man who stood at the center of it all—Franklin D. Roosevelt. A brilliant piece of investigative history, Pearl Harbor tells us a great deal about the character of the President who, though unable to walk unaided, brought the United States safely through the two great crises of the modern era, the Great Depression and World War Two. This is a must read for anyone who wishes to gain a complete understanding of FDR and the nation he led.”
“In Pearl Harbor Steve Gillon combines impeccable research and historical authority with a narrative so gripping that the book reads like a thriller. This blow-by-blow account of the first 24 hours after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor presents not only a new and detailed version of the reaction to the event but also a new and up-close vision of FDR's leadership.”
“Gillon paints a vivid picture….An excellent introduction to Roosevelt and his times with heavy emphasis on events surrounding Pearl Harbor.”
“Fast paced as any novel, Gillon provides readers with a dramatic examination of this crucial juncture in our history.”
“[Gillon] provides a concise and informative account of Franklin Roosevelt’s initial response to the crisis.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“‘Pearl Harbor’ makes a strong case that Roosevelt shared in the shock all Americans felt…. Fascinating.”
Deseret Morning News“Gillon uses facts and information to masterfully demonstrate that Roosevelt handled the situation in the best way possible for both himself and his political agenda while also keeping in mind what he felt was the best for the country as a whole. Gillon seamlessly weaves in experiences from earlier in Roosevelt’s life (such as his battle with polio) with the events of that day.” Kansas City Star“Present[s] a ton of marvelous details about how events unfolded in the Pacific, the United States and the rest of the world.” Christian Science Monitor “Pearl Harbor…is short and moves forward like a rocket, propelled by readable prose and a laser-sharp focus…. Gillon digs deep into the details that humanize FDR.”