Roosevelt and Hitler: Prelude to War

Robert Edwin Herzstein, Author Paragon House Publishers $24.95 (500p) ISBN 978-1-55778-021-8
In a study that provides a new perspective on U.S. policy toward Nazi Germany, Herzstein ( The War That Hitler Won ) argues that one of President Roosevelt's major accomplishments was the political castration of American anti-Semites, fascists and far-righters during the 1930s. He managed this, according to the author, by convincing the public that these factions represented a Trojan horse introduced by the Nazis. The book brings into focus the strength of anti-Semitism during the pre-war years and explains how it was exploited by such groups and individuals as the German-American Bund and ``radio priest'' Charles Coughlin. Herzstein writes that FDR, fearing congressional reaction and anti-Semitic backlash, may have been guilty of ``timidity and even cowardice'' in denying sanctuary to Jewish refugees, but he also contends that the president earned an exalted place in history as ``the most purposeful and consequential'' of the anti-Nazi statesmen. The excluded refugees, according to the persuasive evidence presented here, were tragic pawns sacrified to a grand strategy that ensured American hegemony in a world free of National Socialism. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 500 pages - 978-0-471-03341-7
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