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Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage (2002)

por Joseph E. Persico

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427544,388 (3.59)31
"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 War also 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?"--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
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Mostrando 5 de 5
Decent but not thrilling. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I need to keep better track of my Goodreads... This was a very informative and interesting read. I recommend.

(I also should work on a better review system, I know :P) ( )
  autumnturner76 | Sep 22, 2014 |
I need to keep better track of my Goodreads... This was a very informative and interesting read. I recommend.

(I also should work on a better review system, I know :P) ( )
  AutumnTurner | Dec 29, 2013 |
This book could have been better written. Most annoying were the instances of repetition of material, sometimes word-for-word, which pulled me out of the "moment in time" in which Persico had me immersed, to sit for a minute or two casting my memory back to examine whether I was right that this had already been covered. For it to happen once is forgiveable, to happen 4-5 times is not. Where were the editor and proofreader?

Further, Persico often covered unnecessary and unimportant things in minute detail when a more detached rendering would have been sufficient and, frankly, welcomed by this reader.

From other readings, I knew much of what is reported here, but Persico did an excellent job of explaining what FDR was like as an administrator and how carefully he managed the thousands of balls he had in the air at any one time. He was a true master of illusion, never letting anyone know what he or anyone else was doing.

I was surprised to learn that the Army and Navy were competing in espionage collection and that they had a screwy system for giving the information they gleaned from the Japanese encryptions to the President (on some kind of 'need to know basis' which only they decided [and which had a very big effect on Pearl Harbor]), how very early the Manhattan Project began, how very underprepared the U. S. was for the war, that England was both spying on the U. S. and not reporting important information to us even though we were supposedly equal partners in the quest to crush Germany, that even though Japan has clear proof that their codes had been broken by the U. S. they never changed them, giving us an open line not only into their workings, but through one of their spies, into the German plans as well, that Churchill and Roosevelt both turned a blind eye to Stalin's massacre of thousands Polish officers, and how excellent and effective the Russian spies were in the U. S. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Apr 19, 2011 |
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.

A lot of the book deals with Roosevelt's personality and style of leadership. He enjoyed having several competing agencies at work at the same time, for example, and his love for the swash-buckling made him value dashing espionage work and the theories of his sometimes very imaginative field agents more than the generally more reliable information received from the purloined messages that his code-breakers gathered.

There's lots more like this. Lot's of very interesting information for history buffs. The roots of the Cold War are also laid out quite clearly here.

The flaws of the book involve often drawn out and frequently repetitive sections dealing with personality conflicts and competitions between the various intelligence gathering/spying agencies. Also, there are some very irritating editing miscues. Too frequently, quotes and anecdotes are presented more than once, and each time as if for the first time, as if the author did remember having used the material already. So not all of the books flows as readily as a reader would like it to. When I was finished, I was certainly ready to be finished, but also happy to have read the work. ( )
  rocketjk | Oct 5, 2010 |
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To the next generation, Amanda, Joshua, and Georgia, and my literary agent, Clyde Taylor
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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 War also 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?"--BOOK JACKET.

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