Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

By David M. Kennedy | Go to book overview

22
Endgame

I . . . have concluded that continuing the war can only mean destruction for the nation.

-- Japanese emperor Hirohito, August 9, 1945

On the morning of January 20, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt fitted his wasted legs into his heavy steel braces for the first time in four months. He was wheeled to the south portico of the White House, rose laboriously from his chair with the help of his son James, and gripped a lectern to deliver his fourth inaugural address, the briefest in American history, just 573 words. "We have learned that we must live as men and not as ostriches," he said. "We can gain no lasting peace if we approach it with suspicion and mistrust -- or with fear." The perfunctory ceremony was over in minutes. As the president withdrew, observers murmured about his pallor and gauntness. He had lost almost twenty-five pounds since the preceding summer. James told him frankly that he looked like hell. When the presidential party went back inside the White House, FDR sat his son down to talk about his will and about the funeral instructions he had deposited in the White House safe. He did not disclose that ten months earlier the cardiologist Howard G. Bruernn had diagnosed him with hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, and failure of the left ventricular chamber. In plain language, Bruenn described the president's health as "God-awful." But as he had done for years with his paralysis, Roosevelt did his best willfully to ignore his cardiovascular illness. Though Bruernn prevailed upon him to cut his working day back to just a few hours, the president concealed the severity of his condition from others, asked no questions of his physician, and tried to carry on in public as if nothing in his life had changed.1

____________________
1
PPA ( 1944-45), 524; Howard G. Bruenn, M.D., "Clinical Notes on the Illness and Death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt," Annals of Internal Medicine 75: 579-91

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Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Editor''s Introduction xiii
  • Abbreviated Titles Used in Citations xvii
  • Prologue - November 11, 1918 1
  • 1 - The American People on the Eve of the Great Depression 10
  • 2 - Panic 43
  • 3 - The Ordeal of Herbert Hoover 70
  • 4 - Interregnum 104
  • 5 - The Hundred Days 131
  • 6 - The Ordeal of the American People 160
  • 7 - Chasing the Phantom of Recovery 190
  • 8 - The Rumble of Discontent 218
  • 9 - A Season for Reform 249
  • 10 - Strike! 288
  • 11 - The Ordeal of Franklin Roosevelt 323
  • 12 - What the New Deal Did 363
  • 13 - The Gathering Storm 381
  • 14 - The Agony of Neutrality 426
  • 15 - To the Brink 465
  • 16 - War in the Pacific 516
  • 17 - Unready Ally, Uneasy Alliance 565
  • 18 - The War of Machines 615
  • 19 - The Struggle for a Second Front 669
  • 20 - The Battle for Northwest Europe 709
  • 21 - The Cauldron of the Home Front 746
  • 22 - Endgame 798
  • Epilogue- the World the War Made 852
  • Bibliographical Essay 859
  • Index 877
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