V Is For Victory: Franklin Roosevelt's American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II (Hardcover)

V Is For Victory: Franklin Roosevelt's American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II By Craig Nelson Cover Image

V Is For Victory: Franklin Roosevelt's American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II (Hardcover)


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New York Times bestselling historian Craig Nelson reveals how FDR confronted an American public disinterested in going to war in Europe, skillfully won their support, and pushed government and American industry to build the greatest war machine in history, “the arsenal of democracy” that won World War II.

As Nazi Germany began to conquer Europe, America’s military was unprepared, too small, and poorly supplied. The Nazis were supported by robust German factories that created a seemingly endless flow of arms, trucks, tanks, airplanes, and submarines. The United States, emerging from the Great Depression, was skeptical of American involvement in Europe and not ready to wage war. Hardened isolationists predicted disaster if the country went to war.

In this fascinating and deeply researched account, Craig Nelson traces how Franklin D. Roosevelt steadily and sometimes secretively put America on a war footing by convincing America’s top industrialists such as Henry Ford Jr. to retool their factories, by diverting the country’s supplies of raw materials to the war effort, and above all by convincing the American people to endure shortages, to work in wartime factories, and to send their sons into harm’s way. Within a few years, the nation’s workers were producing thousands of airplanes and tanks, hundreds of warships and submarines. Under FDR’s resolute leadership, victory at land and sea and air across the globe began at home in America—a powerful and essential narrative largely overlooked in conventional histories of the war but which, in Nelson’s skilled, authoritative hands, becomes an illuminating and important work destined to become an American history classic.
Craig Nelson is the author of Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness and the New York Times bestseller, Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon, as well as several previous books, including The Age of Radiance (a PEN Award Finalist chosen as one of the year’s best books by NBC News, the American Institute of Physics, Kirkus Reviews, and FlavorWire), The First HeroesThomas Paine (winner of the Henry Adams Prize), and Let’s Get Lost (shortlisted for W.H. Smith’s Book of the Year). His writing has appeared in Vanity FairThe Wall Street JournalSalonNational GeographicThe New England ReviewPopular ScienceReader’s Digest, and a host of other publications.
Product Details ISBN: 9781982122911
ISBN-10: 1982122919
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: May 23rd, 2023
Pages: 448
Language: English
“Nelson chronicles what went into efforts to ramp up production of needed supplies such as tanks and bombers, reviving a moribund military supply and making the oft-quoted Roosevelt line about the 'arsenal of democracy' come alive for readers. . . . Nelson manages to make what is essentially a history of logistics just as compelling as battlefield heroics.” —Associated Press

"Nelson focuses on the ways in which New Deal economics and a nascent war effort went hand in hand, as with the bond-sales programs that financed the 'arsenal of democracy' policy, and shows us Roosevelt wrangling generals and manufacturers alike. He sees America’s 'industrial genius'—factories producing everyday items were enlisted to make armaments—as central to the defeat of fascism, arguing that American workers were war heroes, too." —New Yorker

“Drawing on considerable research, the author fashions a richly detailed, highly readable account of presidential leadership in perilous times.” —New York Journal of Books

“A strong argument that 'if any one human being is responsible for winning World War II, it is FDR.' . . . [Nelson] points out that one American Revolution established the country in 1776, but another began in 1933 with the Franklin Roosevelt. . . . A compelling and convincing history lesson.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“A must-read equally for WWII history buffs and students of supply-chain logistics.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Deeply researched and fluidly written, this is a rousing portrait of the partnership between America’s public and private sectors firing on all cylinders. . . . [A] comprehensive and colorful account." —Publishers Weekly

V Is for Victory belongs in the library alongside the histories and biographies of Martin Gilbert, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and David McCullough. Immensely readable and engrossing, rich in detail and deeply reported, these pages possess that rare charm of omniscience flush with surprise at every turn. Nelson’s prose springs FDR and America to new life—we’re in the rooms as history is made. A rich feast of history and storytelling.” —Doug Stanton, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Horse Soldiers