FDR: Into The Storm, 1937-1940. A History

In This Review

FDR: Into The Storm, 1937-1940. A History

By Kenneth S. Davis
Random House, 1993
691 pp. $35.00
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Admirers of F.D.R. will enjoy the wealth of personal anecdotes in this beautifully written fourth volume of a highly acclaimed biography. The book is wholly sympathetic to F.D.R.; for example, his 1940 campaign pledge, "I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars," gets only the briefest mention, without analysis or criticism. Foreign policy students will wish Davis had dealt more directly with some of the outstanding questions about F.D.R.'s leadership, such as why it was that after eight years in command of the world's richest and most powerful nation, when America's potential enemies were arming themselves to the teeth and entering into pacts of steel, the United States was still unilaterally disarmed and had no allies. What Davis does do, mainly domestic politics, he does very well.