[July 7, 2016] I know that it’s been too long since my last book review back in May. Not that I’m failing to read but that finding just the right book is important for me to recommend. I believe that I found it in Lynne Olson’s book on America’s debates over entering World War II. Enjoy!
Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941, Lynne Olson, 2014.
Great leaders are often measured by the success they have on the stage of debate for and against strong ideas, values, and human dreams. And so it was in the lead up to America’s intervention in World War II. Today we are taught that WWII was the “good” war; the one in which we entered to fight evil and eventually prevailed. This is largely hindsight. Author Lynne Olson shows us the internal struggles of the debate between those who strongly supported the U.S. entering WWII on the side of the Allies (interventionists) and those who likewise opposed it (isolationists). Olson does a good job of laying out the main actors (like FDR, Lindbergh, and Wilkie) and their viewpoints. She also tells us about the behind-the-scenes smoke room deals, as well as the manipulative and duplicitous actions of many of our greatest leaders; political, military, media, etc. While providing a much needed book on these years, Olson is not without criticism for her bias toward the interventionist side. Nevertheless, highly recommended.
… and now for our bonus book:
Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow, 2005
This book is a pleasure to read. I’ve always been of the mind that in order to be a successful leader, it is crucial to understand (and perhaps imitate) the thinking of those who are great. Hamilton is, of course, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a person who helped shape this country’s financial and trading system. What I liked most about the book is that it not only succeeded here it also put Hamilton’s thinking into the social and political context of the times. Compelling! Add it to your library.
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