In one volume, Robert Dallek has attempted to counter the vast amount of printed material covering Franklin D. Roosevelt's domestic policies during the 1930's and 1940's. The result is a mammoth effort that sheds light on the enormous pressures Roosevelt faced both at home and abroad during the turbulent decades when the world struggled to emerge from the shambles of a Great Depression, and prepare itself for a global conflict. Dallek argues that most historians do not fully understand the nature of Roosevelt's foreign policy. Dallek also claims that researchers tend to focus on FDR's shortcomings without emphasizing the constraints with which he was forced to work. Dallek's main purpose is to highlight the continual dilemmas Roosevelt faced in an effort to always strive for balance and compromise between public opinion and foreign affairs. FDR realized the need to break the country away from isolationism and place it in the global arena, both economically and politically, while at the same time facing the growing threat from the Axis powers. Though Dallek is noted as a gifted narrator, it is Roosevelt's leadership style,criticized as somewhat unorthodox,and the many quandaries in which he prevailed that provides the strength of Dallek's book. Dallek chose a ridged chronological format, which he maintained throughout the book. The chronological methodology in essential to enable the reader to understand the patterns that emerged within Roosevelt's style of leadership. For instance, rather than try to sway public opinion as to why the United States should supply aid to its allies or begin preparing for war, Roosevelt instead would allow the events then taking shape in Europe and Asia to speak for themselves to convince the American public. FDR's early foreign policy (1932-1935) was primarily centered on economic recovery. Roosevelt clearly understood that the Great Depression was a global problem. Roosevelt strove to reduce tariffs, improve trade and stabilize the dollar with foreign currencies. He has been widely criticized for going off the gold standard and blamed for the failure of the London Economic Conference. Dallek states, however, that Roosevelt clearly achieved two very important underlying objectives: First, domestic economic recovery must take priority over foreign affairs This belief was evident in the many Hundred Days policies that FDR implemented. Second, Dallek argues that Roosevelt's main goal was at best to "restore a measure of faith in international cooperation." Roosevelt was always aware of his limitations. Dallek believes that the years 1935-1939 was the most important period in Roosevelt's foreign policy. During this time, Roosevelt faced many obstacles. Dubbed an "Idealist" for his efforts towards disarmament and United States participation in the World Court, FDR was also criticized as being naļve in his reactions to the aggressive actions of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Dallek diligently describes how FDR's hands were tied by the very nature of the Neutrality Acts, pressure from Isolationists, student peace activists, and religious groups, particularly Catholics at home. The events of World War II exposed yet more criticisms upon Roosevelt's handling of foreign affairs. In a new Afterword (1995), Dallek explains some of the legitimate critiques as well as some of the ludicrous claims concerning FDR's handling of the war. Dallek disregards the revisionist view that Roosevelt knew of, or allowed the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor as an excuse to draw the United States into the war. Some revisionists even propose the existence of a British conspiracy to lure the United States into the war. Dallek points out there are even those that claim British pilots flying planes with Japanese markings took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dallek praises Roosevelt as a visionary, accurately predicting a world view he never lived to see. Dallek disagrees with the "naļveté" Roosevelt exhibited at Yalta, claiming FDR did not sell out Eastern Europe to Stalin. Dallek dismisses this as a myth, claiming Roosevelt clearly understood the price for 20 million Russian killed during World War II would be Eastern Europe. Dallek also defends Roosevelt's decision to back the doomed Chiang Kai-shek regime in China. Dallek believes FDR knew that someday China would be a dominant world power and although he felt that democracy in both China and the Soviet Union were unlikely, he hoped for eventual global cooperation between the superpowers. Dallek harshest criticism of Roosevelt's tenure is the interment of Japanese-Americans. This book offers the reader valuable insight into the complex problems facing Roosevelt's decision-making processes on the eve of World War II. For this reason, Dallek's work holds a valued place in political and historical literature.