The book 1941 Fighting the Shadow War by Marc Wortman was quite the interesting read. The book is over those years leading up to World War 2 all the way to the bombing of Pearl Harbor itself in December of 1941. It mainly focuses on the efforts of the Federal Government and the UK to get a isolationist America into the War against Germany. In the book this is portrayed as a noble and necessary mission, however we know otherwise. Wortman basically praises how President FDR let the British illegally run our agencies and even ignored FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover’s warnings that he was acting unconstitutionally. FDR didn’t care. FDR and his aide Harry Hopkins were zealots about making sure America saved “muh Democracy” by siding and aiding fuel into firey conflict between Britain and Germany. FDR and his globalist buddies constantly colluded on ways to provoke Germany and Italy into war however Hitler, learning from the 1st World War, didn’t fall for the tricks. I found my self laughing at how infuriated Mussolini would get over Roosevelt’s underhanded actions and how much he wanted to put FDR in his place.
I should note the book mainly is focused on America’s homefront so it’s not much of a war-centered book as it is a poltical timeline and events. I enjoyed the parts about FDR’s isolationist foes who bravely tried to keep us out of the war. We get to hear briefly about the 3rd Party plans of Senator Huey Long, an isolationist, but that ofcourse fell threw when the King Fish was assassinated in 1935. From then we get to briefly here about the massive threat issued by the amazing Priest Father Charles Coughlin. The Priest was no mollycoddle and vehemently oppose the war on his extremely popular radio show and paper. If only we had clergy like that now. Then we have the German Bund, a German based Nationalist group who fought against the Jewish attempt to get us into the War. These guys get only brief mentions in the book though so don’t expect much info if your into the 1930 American fascist stuff. We should note these people were considered fringe elements even for their time and were harrassed and undermined by both the Feds and the British agents who were hellbent on subverting any isolationist Movement. Plus Wortman is no fan of these people.
The next group of people that were discussed in the group was the American First group. Unlike the German Bund or Silver Shirts these people were way more widely accepted and mainstream. That of course had to do with Charles Lindbergh involvement in the group. Lindbergh at this time was extremely famous and a world wide celebrity for his famous aviator trip. Lindbergh gave the American First Committee an enormous boost of legitimacy that helped boost it to become 800,000 strong. I’ll give the man credit, he was a very heroic Northern man and indeed was of the True American stock. He saw through the various lies of the pro-war press of the time and went to the people to expose those devious falsehoods. He and his committee took heat for this, as usual their were accusations of anti-semitism, especially aimed at Lindbergh himself. Overall the Committee was very well accepted by the American people however. I have grown to have a massive respect for Lindbergh after reading this book and I probably plan to read more on this brave Northern man. I’d have no problem being in the Union if all the people of the North carried themselves like that great American.
Both parties were corrupted and weak at the time, however there still was many men, on the left and right, who demanded we stay out of the War. This is very well pointed out in the book and the situation really does remind me of the situation in Syria or Israel/Palestinian conflict. I feel that the book while being written by a pro-FDR historian is a good starter boon for those wanting a good idea of the political landscape of Pre-Pearl Harbor America. I can firmly say that FDR not been actively trying to goat Japan into war that we’d never would have found ourselves bombed. However, once the japs did attack I feel it would be cowardly not to fight back. Overall the book isn’t a must read but I’d recommend it for those who have the spare time.
Note to Readers: I really left out a lot of the material as I read the book a few months ago and have read a few others since that time. However, I believe this is decent overview. I also left out many, though I couldn’t resist a little, of my political beliefs on this topic. To be fair even Wortman openly admits that FDR acted outside the Constitution during many of the points the book. I plan to make more articles in the future explaining why I really have come to disliked the 4-term President.