American Warlords (Hardcover)

How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II

By Jonathan W. Jordan

Dutton Caliber, 9780451414571, 624pp.

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (5/3/2016)
Compact Disc (5/5/2015)
Compact Disc (5/5/2015)
MP3 CD (5/5/2015)

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American Warlords is the story of the greatest “team of rivals” since the days of Lincoln.

In a lifetime shaped by politics, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proved himself a master manipulator of Congress, the press, and the public. But when war in Europe and Asia threatened America’s shores, FDR found himself in a world turned upside down, where his friends became his foes, his enemies his allies. To help wage democracy’s first “total war,” he turned to one of history’s most remarkable triumvirates.

Henry Stimson, an old-money Republican from Long Island, rallied to FDR’s banner to lead the Army as Secretary of War, and championed innovative weapons that shape our world today. General George C. Marshall argued with Roosevelt over grand strategy, but he built the world’s greatest war machine and willingly sacrificed his dream of leading the invasion of Europe that made his protégé, Dwight Eisenhower, a legend. Admiral Ernest J. King, a hard-drinking, irascible fighter who “destroyed” Pearl Harbor in a prewar naval exercise, understood how to fight Japan, but he also battled the Army, the Air Force, Douglas MacArthur, and his British allies as they moved armies and fleets across the globe.

These commanders threw off sparks whenever they clashed: Generals against politicians, Army versus Navy. But those sparks lit the fire of victory. During four years of bitter warfare, FDR’s lieutenants learned to set aside deep personal, political, and professional differences and pull a nation through the twentieth century's darkest days.

Encircling Roosevelt’s warlords—and sometimes bitterly at odds with them—was a colorful cast of the Second World War’s giants: Winston Churchill, MacArthur, Josef Stalin, Eisenhower, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Charles de Gaulle. These and other larger-than-life figures enrich a sweeping story of an era brimming with steel, fire, and blood.

Drawing upon a wealth of primary sources, American Warlords goes behind closed doors to give readers an intimate, often surprising view of titans who led America from isolation to the summit of global power. Written in a robust, engaging style, author Jonathan W. Jordan offers a vivid portrait of four extraordinary Americans in the eye of war’s hurricane.

About the Author

Jonathan W. Jordan is the author of the New York Times bestselling Brothers Rivals Victors and the award-winning Lone Star Navy. A practicing attorney in Atlanta, he lives in Marietta, Georgia.

Praise For American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II

“An incredibly intimate account of the four men who led the nation to victory in the Second World War. Mr. Jordan's book should be required reading for all who seek greater insight into how wars are won. Superbly written, well researched, and highly interesting, American Warlords is in a class by itself.”—Jean Edward Smith, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, and New York Times Bestselling Author of FDR and Eisenhower in War and Peace 

“[A] triumph of meticulous scholarship and keen insight propelled by a marvelously written narrative…Jordan’s American Warlords accomplishes for FDR and World War II what Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals achieved for Lincoln and the Civil War.”Armchair General

“A page-turning chronicle of World War II...Throughout, the author provides astute and clever portrayals of the leaders, including Churchill's pretense to his ancestor's abilities, Stalin's displays of compassion, and FDR's meddling in naval projects...Readers will enjoy the intrigue, back-stabbing, action, and diplomacy in this well-written book.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A classic page-turner that is fun to read. This essential volume will hold much appeal to readers interested in World War II, FDR, and civilian-military relations.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Mr. Jordan has done an admirable job of making these men come alive. He uses their own words to weave a good tale.”The Wall Street Journal
“Jordan has crafted an immensely readable history of World War II, framed around President Franklin Roosevelt and his top military lieutenants…Jordan has done a wonderful job of encapsulating, not just the personalities of these fascinating leaders, but the larger overall strategy of the war, dutifully covering all the major battles on the road to victory.”Charleston Post and Courier

“Jordan’s research is exemplary; the detail he brings forth about the men of this time and the conflicts they faced, both outside Washington and inside, paints a picture of a small group of men who understood only too well what was happening on both sides of their world. They are presented in such a way as to be human on the one hand and almost superhuman on the other…. A must-read.”—New York Journal of Books
“Perhaps the most compelling stories here are of the historical turns that almost, but didn’t, happen—Marshall as commander of Overlord, Dewey as president, the Morgenthau Plan (to reduce postwar Germany to a meek agrarian state) rather than the Marshall Plan—each of them near misses that would have recast history.”—MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History