Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II

Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II

Joseph E. Persico Dan Woren / Jul 16, 2019

Roosevelt s Centurions FDR the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II All American presidents are commanders in chief by law Few perform as such in practice In Roosevelt s Centurions distinguished historian Joseph E Persico reveals how during World War II Franklin D

  • Title: Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II
  • Author: Joseph E. Persico Dan Woren
  • ISBN: 9780449012192
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Audio
  • All American presidents are commanders in chief by law Few perform as such in practice In Roosevelt s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph E Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin D Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War Declaring himself Dr Win the War, FDR assumed the role of strAll American presidents are commanders in chief by law Few perform as such in practice In Roosevelt s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph E Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin D Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War Declaring himself Dr Win the War, FDR assumed the role of strategist in chief, and, though surrounded by star studded generals and admirals, he made clear who was running the war FDR was a hands on war leader, involving himself in everything from choosing bomber targets to planning naval convoys to the design of landing craft Persico explores whether his strategic decisions, including his insistence on the Axis powers unconditional surrender, helped end or may have prolonged the war Taking us inside the Allied war councils, the author reveals how the president brokered strategy with contentious allies, particularly the iron willed Winston Churchill rallied morale on the home front and handpicked a team of proud, sometimes prickly warriors who, he believed, could fight a global war Persico s history offers indelible portraits of the outsize figures who roused the sleeping giant that defeated the Axis war machine the dutiful yet independent minded George C Marshall, charged with rebuilding an army whose troops trained with broomsticks for rifles, eggs for hand grenades Dwight Eisenhower, an unassuming Kansan elevated from obscurity to command of the greatest fighting force ever assembled the vainglorious Douglas MacArthur and the bizarre battlefield genius George S Patton Here too are less widely celebrated military leaders whose contributions were just as critical the irascible, dictatorial navy chief, Ernest King the acerbic army advisor in China, Vinegar Joe Stilwell and Henry H Hap Arnold, who zealously preached the gospel of modern air power The Roosevelt who emerges from these pages is a wartime chess master guiding America s armed forces to a victory that was anything but foreordained What are the qualities we look for in a commander in chief In an era of renewed conflict, when Americans are again confronting the questions that FDR faced about the nature and exercise of global power Roosevelt s Centurions is a timely and revealing examination of what it takes to be a wartime leader in a freewheeling, complicated, and tumultuous democracy.Praise for Roosevelt s Centurions FDR s centurions were my heroes and guides Now Joe Persico has written the best account of those leaders I ve ever read Colin L Powell Benefiting from his years of studying Franklin Roosevelt and his times, Joseph Persico has brought us a briskly paced story with much wisdom and new insights on FDR, his military liege men, World War II, and political and military leadership Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789 1989 Long wars demand long books, but these are 550 pages of lively prose by a good writer who knows his subject A fine, straightforward politics and great men history Kirkus Reviews Persico makes a persuasive case that FDR was clearly in charge of the most important decisions of the American war plan The Washington TimesFrom the Hardcover edition.

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      169 Joseph E. Persico Dan Woren
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      Posted by:Joseph E. Persico Dan Woren
      Published :2018-011-17T20:22:07+00:00

    About "Joseph E. Persico Dan Woren"

      • Joseph E. Persico Dan Woren

        Joseph E Persico was the author of Roosevelt s Secret War FDR and World War II Espionage Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour Armistice Day, 1918 World War I and Its Violent Climax Piercing the Reich and Nuremberg Infamy on Trial, which was made into a television docudrama He also collaborated with Colin Powell on his autobiography, My American Journey He lives in Guilderland, New York.


    1. This is a useful time life style compendium of anecdotes surrounding Roosevelt and a few of the celebrated American commanders in WWII. The thesis of the book is splendid and could have been terrific if the author had actually explored the theme expressed and provided insight into Roosevelt's role in the selection and assignment of commanders. For example, the selection of Marshall, how he was denied command in Europe, the plucking of Eisenhower from obscurity and the role of Admiral King. Vario [...]

    2. This was a group read in the History Book Club and got a lot of attention, as it should. Persico has done an admirable job describing the environment and men surrounding President Franklin Roosevelt just prior to and through WWII. He has some interesting insights into the behavior of some of the Generals like Patton and MacArthur and how they got away with some of their actions which verged on disobedience. He paints a clear picture of how FDR came to some of his decisions and how he sometimes h [...]

    3. I admire Persico's research and analysis. I don't rate ROOSEVELT'S CENTURIONS as high as his NUREMBERG, because in my opinion NUREMBERG's moral high ground has stepped down a bit in CENTURIONS to politics. The many personalities in both books are granted their share in shaping events.

    4. A nice book to have if you are a WW2 buff but also a great book for novices to get to know the major players and arc of the war. Persico does not complicate things and tells his story in straightforward manner. His focus is on FDR and the men he chose to take soldiers, sailors and airmen to battle. The oft overlooked (not by history buffs) Marshall emerges as the indispensable man. A soldier and man of virtue and sense of duty unseen since George Washington - my words not Persico's. Eisenhower, [...]

    5. Good overview of the discussions and decisions made between FDR, his military commanders, and Churchill. The book traverses steadily through FDR's involvement in WWII, providing anecdotes and insight that help to bring out the decisions made during the course of that war while showcasing the peculiar and masterful leadership of FDR during his tenure.He covers a lot of things, some of which were covered in Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage. That book covered a lot of great th [...]

    6. I was a little nervous going in to this book because I am not a fan of military history. I don't think I've ever read another book before this one on the military from any war or time period. However, this book had enough military to explain some terms I heard before but not too much that I was uninterested. It found just the right balance. More importantly, Persico focused on Roosevelt and his commanders and less about battles and strategy. I think this was a good first military history book fo [...]

    7. We all know how the story ends -- Roosevelt died before the Allies victoriously ended the war. And we know much about Roosevelt and his key generals. What Persico adds to the story are stories -- anecdotes of the personalities to make these seemingly larger-than-life characters more human. Persico has added these details to my lifelong love of World War II history. It doesn't change my impressions of these characters; rather, it adds another layer of meaning.

    8. WWII StoryAn excellent book, it explains the action and , more importantly, the personalities of those who fought the war with special emphasis on Roosevelt. It is exciting and explains things well. It is one of the best books about the war.

    9. A reasonable book the settles in with the vast collection of Roosevelt and World War II. It has lots of detail and some anecdotes not really found everywhere. You end up with a better idea of Churchill's reasoning about his Centurions than Roosevelt's.

    10. A superb overview of World War II - a fascinating overview of the key strategic decisions and major battles and campaigns of the war, as well as deep insight into Roosevelt's leadership style and the key people that fought the war under his direction.

    11. Another general survey of World War 2 that examines the war from the perspective that f FDR and his war council. If this is your first crack at that sort of story you will enjoy, for anyone who has read one of the other dozen books on the topic, this will seem like a rerun.

    12. A good summary of FDR as Commander in Chief during WW 2. The Focus is on decisions and their context; Not very much on his Commanders or actual military details.

    13. “Roosevelt’s Centurions” tells the story of the relationships between President Franklin Roosevelt and the generals and admirals who brought about the victory that he demanded. This deals with the top levels of command: Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Bradley, Arnold, King, Nimitz and Halsey among others. Author Joseph Persico weaves the sometimes stormy relationships among the commanders and with their chief. The divided command and competing plans from MacArthur and Nimitz (really CNO K [...]

    14. Received as a free book through the History Club at , this thorough look at FDR and his team of military leadership in World War II (as well as other international military players in WWII) delivered on its premise of examining Roosevelt's skills as Commander-in-Chief.The author does a very nice job of introducing each military leader with a brief biographical sketch and then fleshing out the relationship they had with Roosevelt. It also serves well as a chronological military history of WWII wh [...]

    15. This is an outstanding book about FDR and his relationship with the likes of George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Stalin, Churchill, Ernest King, Chester Nimitz, Dwight Eisenhower, etc etc. Persico gives a nice background of each, as he goes through the book and explains how each came into the FDR orbit, and how each was instrumental in helping the allies win WW II. I found the book very objective in discussing FDR's feelings towards each, having read a fair amount of each of most of these guy [...]

    16. This book examines the relationship of FDR as Commander in Chief with his military commanders during the course of WWII. Make no mistake, these are all men of ego and personalities that differ vastly from each other as well as that of the President, and the author does an excellent job of showing us each individual's background and temperament. As different as they were from each other, they were brothers in arms military leaders navigating the role of the United States during a world conflict. [...]

    17. "Roosevelt's Centurions" covers FDR's leadership role during the war years of World War II. Many war books discuss details of key battles, land or sea, but this book deals more with the personality of the wartime leaders serving under Roosevelt. As Commander-in-Chief, Roosevelt played an active role in war decisions on the home front and interacting with the leaders of our allied Countries. Among the most critical decisions he had to make was finding the right military and civilian leaders for t [...]

    18. Joseph Persico chronicles one of his best accomplishments through very revealing intimate portrayals of the World War II generals surrounding America’s Commander-in-Chief, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His in-depth research and professional writing transcends from cover to cover. Persico not only details the relationship between FDR and Churchill along with other world leaders, but much insight is provided regarding the American military leaders of various service branches and how they foll [...]

    19. This detailed study of Roosevelt and his generals during the second world war handles the decisions and policy fights among FDR and his generals. It covers Roosevelt's preparation for war and generals like Marshall who were key in the build up. After Pearl Harbor plans for defeating Hitler in Europe were developed first on Churchill's idea of attacking the soft underbelly of the axis in north Africa and Italy and then the shift to Operation Overlord on D-day. China and Pacific war are also cover [...]

    20. This was a really interesting book about FDR's role as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces during WWII, his relationship with George Marshall, Admirals Leahy, King and Nimitz, General MacArthur, and the other principal military men of the war including Hap Arnold, Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and others. The book also outlined the complex relationship between FDR and Churchill, and how this significantly shaped the battle plans and campaigns of the war. It also delves into the interaction [...]

    21. This is a first-rate, highly readable account of how FDR and his military commanders led the United States during World War II. And it is a very personal book, in that the reader gets to know intimately each of the main leaders who worked with and sometimes disagreed with Franklin Roosevelt. It is also a good book about history, even for those who are well-versed in that particular time period of world and American history. My only problem is not with the book itself, but with the person who rea [...]

    22. This is WWII from 80,000 feet. A good survey of the major personalities and conflicts with emphasis on the political side of war and governing through war. Extremely well written. If you are a casual history fan you may come away from the read with a different view of many of the main players you thought you knew as Persico feels no need to polish personalities that do not deserve polishing. FDR's personal battles and brilliance are on full display, as is Churchill's maneuvering to protect his b [...]

    23. Fascinating read on a leader of leaders. Roosevelt juggled men of all kinds to lead a war, and he did so while suffering under intense physical anguish. Sadly, many of these "great" men were not so great as humans or husbands, but they did know how to fight. When it comes to judging greatness, let's heed the words of 1 Samuel 16:7: "do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what The Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but The Lord sees the h [...]

    24. Outstanding. Well reasoned and objective. Persico gives us different perspectives and then ties them together and give us the significance. Great narration. I learned a number of things such as the probable follies of first attacking North Africa, then following that with Sicily and Italy. FDR's excellent choices of his senior officers and advisers. And doing what he did in the way he did it while having polio. Definitely one of our greatest presidents.

    25. I read this because Bob Scheifer of CBS news recommended itbut I thought it was not that good. It was somewhat oddly organized, and seemed to be a bit short on actual stories/facts of Roosevelt's interaction with the generals and admirals. It also was somewhat critical of the British, particularly Churchill, while it worshipped Roosevelt. I read the digital edition on loan from the library.

    26. Good read but really more of a general World War Two history than an in-depth analysis of the relationship between FDR and his subordinates than I was expecting. It also seemed to forget about the Pacific war at times, but that's common in the war historiography. It didn't seem to add much to my knowledge of FDR or his other leaders but I did enjoy the final chapter on "The anatomy of a victory." Again nothing "new," but great quick synopsis of the major reasons the allies won the war.

    27. Solid history of the Second world war told from the point of view of the leaders. My only quibble with this book, and it is a quibble, the author uses the word "beauteous" to describe two women's appearance.Rolling out this arcane word into the midst of an otherwise straight forward writing style I found annoying.

    28. Really liked this book. I read a great deal about this time period and Persico brought to my attention a few people that I have overlooked in the past. George Marshall among them. It really does what it sets out to do, highlights Roosevelt's relationship with the personnel around him. Great insight into the egos and quirks and the man that pulled the strings.

    29. While this easily follows the chronicles of two world wars - Europe and the Pacific- its reward is in the personal, the human interactions between such giants on the world stage as FDR, Churchill, MacArthur, Eisenhower, etc. This is a long, enjoyable piece of history - perhaps even qualifying as "summer reading."

    30. I received this book as a giveaway and would like to thank them, the History Book Club, and Random House for this opportunity.A very good and enlightening book which investigates FDR's roll as mediator, builder, and strategist during WWII. Persico gives us some very subtle insights into the relationships between all the players, focusing on FDR. Well done.

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