The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945

The Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945


The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945, by Michael Beschloss.

Whether a particular war is just or otherwise, warfare is an ethical domain fraught with challenges that are vexing and chilling. And, when the stakes are as large as they were in Europe from 1941-1945, any decision is likely to be ethically imperfect. Among the subjects in esteemed historian Michael Beschloss' new book The Conquerors is the nettlesome historical debate surrounding American knowledge of and policies toward the Nazi death camps. Beschloss presents both sides of the argument in a fair and balanced manner, yet according to the author, Roosevelt had excellent intelligence on the Holocaust that was being waged on Europe's Jews and failed to act. The unflinching efforts of Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau to first persuade the president to act, and then failing that, to push for an exceptionally punishing peace constitutes the book's more fascinating themes. …

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