A Blueprint for War FDR and the Hundred Days That Mobilized America Susan Dunn

The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series
Publication date:
17 Apr 2018
Yale University Press
264 pages: 235 x 156mm
16 b-w illus. in 8-pg insert

In the cold winter months that followed Franklin Roosevelt’s election in November 1940 to an unprecedented third term in the White House, he confronted a worldwide military and moral catastrophe. Almost all the European democracies had fallen under the ruthless onslaught of the Nazi army and air force. Great Britain stood alone, a fragile bastion between Germany and American immersion in war. In the Pacific world, Japan had extended its tentacles deeper into China. Susan Dunn dramatically brings to life the most vital and transformational period of Roosevelt’s presidency: the hundred days between December 1940 and March 1941, when he mobilized American industry, mustered the American people, initiated the crucial programs and approved the strategic plans for America’s leadership in World War II. As the nation began its transition into the preeminent military, industrial, and moral power on the planet, FDR laid out the stunning blueprint not only for war but for the American Century.

Susan Dunn, the Massachusetts Professor of Humanities at Williams College, is the author of a dozen books, including Roosevelt’s Purge; 1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler -- the Election amid the Storm;  and The Three Roosevelts, cowritten with James MacGregor Burns. She lives in Williamstown, Mass.

A Blueprint for War should become the definitive telling of a pivotal episode in American history.”—Edward J. Larson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Return of George Washington

“A superbly researched and written history of how FDR and his top aides moved decisively after the 1940 election to provide massive American aid to Great Britain to support its lonely fight against Hitler, and how FDR set forth an enlightened and lasting vision of America's international responsibilities in the future.”—James T. Patterson, Bancroft Prize-winning author of Grand Expectations

"Susan Dunn is one of the great Roosevelt historians of our time, and with this fresh and fascinating book, she has proven it once again.  Especially in these times, it is inspiring to read this story of a President surely exercising moral leadership at a moment of looming world crisis.”  — Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage