Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War

Eric Larrabee, Author HarperCollins Publishers $25 (723p) ISBN 978-0-06-039050-1
Larrabee (The Self-Conscious Society, etc.) here assembles what, essentially, is a collection of short biographies of four army generals (George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Joseph Stilwell); two air force generals (""Hap'' Arnold, Curtis LeMay); one marine general (A. A. Vandegrift); and two admirals (Ernest King, Chester Nimitz)all of whom oversaw the execution of Roosevelt's strategic directives during World War II. The emphasis throughout is on the relationships, direct and indirect, these officers had with the president, illustrating the premise that ``more than any man FDR ran the war, and ran it well enough to deserve the gratitude of his countrymen then and since, and of those from whom he lifted the yoke of the Axis tyrannies.'' The book is well researched and superbly writtenand studded with the author's blunt opinions. Criticizing Roosevelt's China policy (``bad in conception, bad in execution''), Larrabee calls the president's treatment of Stilwell the darkest blot on his record as commander in chief. The chapter on MacArthur and his staff is especially scathing: ``A false giant among real pygmies.'' Illustrations. (May 13)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 723 pages - 978-0-671-66382-7
Paperback - 735 pages - 978-1-59114-455-7
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