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The heroics it took to turn American opinion,
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This review is from: Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 (Hardcover)
This is a thrilling story and a memorable book, even when knowing the outcome beforehand. It interestingly shows quite a few parallels with today and raises many questions about the democratic process. America believed it had been duped into joining WW1 and, despite the efforts of the likes of William Shirer and Ed Murrow, was not about to put as much trust in perfidious Albion again (anyway, its army then was no bigger than Britain's today). There was, justifiably so, the pathological fear of giving the President too much power, an incumbent refusing to take the initiative when he needed to and would certainly have won, and all too often bling followed by inertia. Obstructive Republicans, bar some notable exceptions, took positions quite contrary to what the Gallup polls were showing. Influence peddling was rife; opinion swaying was in the hands of the elite plus a few secretly implanted Brits; an East Coast clique showed its profound differences with the rest of the country; Hollywood was fearful that its Eastern European connections would be perceived as sources of propaganda and stir up anti-Semitic fervour. The book explores in detail the huge effort and heroics it took to turn American opinion, the battles required merely to supply a bunch of rusted WW1 destroyers to keep the Atlantic lanes open in 1940 and then for Lend-Lease. Increasingly, those who were not on board, including Lindbergh, were written off as pro-Nazi. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) invented McCarthyism before the man himself. Even the ACLU banned extremist politics in its ranks. Gradually things started to move, America occupied Iceland in a move that justified the protection of Britain-bound convoys to that point. But in grim reality it took Pearl Harbor and Germany's declaration of war after it before things really got going in order to save Europe. Highly recommended.