Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage

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Random House, 2002 - History - 564 pages
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Despite all that has already been written on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Persico has uncovered a hitherto overlooked dimension of FDR's wartime leadership: his involvement in intelligence and espionage operations.

Roosevelt's Secret Waris crowded with remarkable revelations:
-FDR wanted to bomb Tokyo before Pearl Harbor
-A defector from Hitler's inner circle reported directly to the Oval Office
-Roosevelt knew before any other world leader of Hitler's plan to invade Russia
-Roosevelt and Churchill concealed a disaster costing hundreds of British soldiers' lives in order to protect Ultra, the British codebreaking secret
-An unwitting Japanese diplomat provided the President with a direct pipeline into Hitler's councils


Roosevelt's Secret Waralso describes how much FDR had been told--before the Holocaust--about the coming fate of Europe's Jews. And Persico also provides a definitive answer to the perennial question Did FDR know in advance about the attack on Pearl Harbor?

By temperament and character, no American president was better suited for secret warfare than FDR. He manipulated, compartmentalized, dissembled, and misled, demonstrating a spymaster's talent for intrigue. He once remarked, "I never let my right hand know what my left hand does." Not only did Roosevelt create America's first central intelligence agency, the OSS, under "Wild Bill" Donovan, but he ran spy rings directly from the Oval Office, enlisting well-placed socialite friends.

FDR was also spiedagainst.Roosevelt's Secret Warpresents evidence that the Soviet Union had a source inside the Roosevelt White House; that British agents fed FDR total fabrications to draw the United States into war; and that Roosevelt, by yielding to Churchill's demand that British scientists be allowed to work on the Manhattan Project, enabled the secrets of the bomb to be stolen. And these are only a few of the scores of revelations in this constantly surprising story of Roosevelt's hidden role in World War II.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rocketjk - LibraryThing

A very interesting, if sometimes slow, account of a fascinating aspect of World War II, the clandestine operations orchestrated from the FDR White House. There's quite a bit of good information here ... Read full review

ROOSEVELT'S SECRET WAR: FDR and World War II Espionage

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A historian argues that FDR's fascination and talent with intelligence helped make him an effective commander-in-chief during WWII.Persico (Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, 1994, etc.) is a Roosevelt ... Read full review

Contents

Gentleman Amateurs
3
Spies Saboteurs and Traitors
19
Strange Bedfellows
34
Spymaster in the Oval Office
50
Service
77
Spies Versus Ciphers
98
Donovan Enters the Game
110
Secrets of the Map Room
157
The White House Is Penetrated
288
If Overlord Fails
301
Cracks in the Reich
311
A Secret Unshared
330
Take a Look at the OSS
353
Sympathizers and Spies
366
A Leaky Vessel
379
Who Knewand When?
404

Intramural Spy Wars
171
Premier Secret of the
176
Enter the
181
We Are Striking Back
195
An Invasion for a Bomb
221
Leakage from the
239
Distrusting Allies
257
Deceivers and the Deceived
272
Stalin Has Been Deceiving Me All Along
415
The Following Are the Latest Casualties
430
Aftermath
436
Bibliography
453
Source Notes
465
Index
537
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Joseph E. Persico’s books includeNuremberg: Infamy on Trial, which was made into a major television docudrama, andPiercing the Reich, on the penetration of Nazi Germany by American agents. He is also the coauthor of General Colin Powell’s autobiography,My American Journey.


From the Hardcover edition.

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