Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy

By Basil Rauch | Go to book overview

Preface

THE ORIGINAL PLAN FOR THIS BOOK WAS TO SURVEY WITHout any particular interpretation the history of our foreign relations during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Perhaps the year 1945, when this plan took shape, explains its simplicity. In that year of victory over the Axis and of American entry into the United Nations, the pre-Pearl Harbor quarrels between isolationists and internationalists seemed to have been generally resolved in favor of the internationalists. When an issue ceases to exist, the time is ripe for an historical obituary.

But in this case an obituary would have been premature. Besides showing signs of life in the political arena since 1945, isolationism has found champions among historians, led by the late Dr. Charles A. Beard, who deny that internationalism vanquished their cause. They offer seemingly valid evidence to support the view that the President plotted to carry the United States into the Second World War contrary to his public professions of peaceful intent, in violation of constitutional limits on his authority, and contrary to the desire of the Axis leaders to avoid war with the United States. Confronted by this challenging interpretation, I studied the evidence, trying to discover whether it had been fairly treated by the isolationists.

My examination of the evidence convinced me that their thesis is based on omissions, distortions, and falsifications. Therefore I abandoned my original plan and turned to write not merely a factual account of events but also a point-by-point refutation of the isolationist thesis, and to present the internationalist argument in favor of President Roosevelt's conduct of foreign relations.

-vii-

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Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Basil Rauch ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Roosevelt and the "New Neutrality 13
  • 4 - The Primacy of Foreign Danger 80
  • 5 - The Fight Against the Arm Embargo: Failure 102
  • 6- The Fight Against the Arms Embargo: Success 128
  • 7 - The "Phony" War 160
  • 8 - "Behind Walls of Sand" 193
  • 9 - "Because America Exists" 227
  • 10 - The Vichy Policy 272
  • 11 - Lend Lease 289
  • 12 - The Convoy Conundrum 314
  • 13 - America and Russia 347
  • 14 - The Atlantic Conference 358
  • 15 - Roosevelt and Japan 375
  • 16 - "Shoot on Sight" 409
  • 17 - Roosevelt and Konoye 431
  • 18 - Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor 455
  • Epilogue 494
  • Reference Notes 497
  • Index 515
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