The Conquerors by Michael R. Beschloss
Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945

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From one of America's most respected historians, The Conquerors reveals one of the most important stories of World War II. As Allied soldiers fought the Nazis, Franklin Roosevelt and, later, Harry Truman fought in private with Churchill and Stalin over how to ensure that Germany could never threaten the world again.
Eleven years in the writing, drawing on newly opened American, Soviet and British documents as well as private diaries, letters and secret audio recordings, Michael Beschloss's gripping narrative lets us eavesdrop on private conversations and telephone calls among a cast of historical giants. The book casts new light upon Roosevelt's concealment of what America knew about Hitler's war against the Jews and his foot-dragging on saving refugees; FDR's actions so shocked his closest friend in the Cabinet, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., that Morgenthau risked their friendship by accusing the President of "acquiescence" in the "murder of the Jews."
After the Normandy invasion, "obsessed" by what he had learned about the Nazis and the Holocaust, Morgenthau drew up a secret blueprint for the Allies to crush Germany by destroying German mines and factories after the European victory. As The Conquerors shows, FDR endorsed most of Morgenthau's plan, and privately pressured a reluctant Churchill to concur. Horrified, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Secretary of War Henry Stimson leaked the plan to the press at the zenith of the 1944 campaign. Hitler's propagandist Joseph Goebbels denounced the Roosevelt-Churchill "Jewish murder plan" and claimed it would kill forty-three million Germans. Republican presidential candidate Thomas Dewey charged that by stiffening German resistance, publicity about Morgenthau's plan had cost many U.S. soldiers' lives.
The Conquerors explores suspicions that Soviet secret agents manipulated Roosevelt and his officials to do Stalin's bidding on Germany. It reveals new information on FDR's hidden illnesses and how they affected his leadership -- and his private talk about quitting his job during his fourth term and letting Harry Truman become President. It shows us FDR's final dinner, in April 1945, in Warm Springs, Georgia, at which the President and Morgenthau were still arguing over postwar Germany. Finally it shows how the unprepared new President Truman managed to pick up the pieces and push Stalin and Churchill to accede to a bargain that would let the Anglo-Americans block Soviet threats against Western Europe and ensure that the world would not have to fear another Adolf Hitler.
 

About Michael R. Beschloss

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Michael Beschloss has been called "the nation's leading Presidential historian" by Newsweek. He has written eight books on American Presidents and is NBC News Presidential Historian, as well as contributor to PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons.
 
Published November 4, 2002 by Simon & Schuster. 400 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Roosevelt died just before Hitler’s regime ended—Beschloss offers the fascinating tidbit that FDR’s last act before expiring was to throw away his draft card—but the underestimated Truman did a remarkable job of negotiating a pact that “created the opportunity for the United States, Great Britain...

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Publishers Weekly

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With reference to the latter volume, one of Beschloss's major subplots traces Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr.'s efforts to interest FDR in a draconian, retributive plan (the "Morgenthau Plan") to destroy what little might remain of Germany's infrastructure after the war.

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Star Tribune

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As he did with his two Johnson volumes, Beschloss virtually transcribes and edits the record as he lays out the conflicting visions of Morgenthau and Stimson, even as Roosevelt and then Truman seemed to agree and then to disagree with one side or the other.

Dec 28 2002 | Read Full Review of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Tr...

Book Reporter

The title of the new book from Michael Beschloss is completely accurate, once you understand the meaning of THE CONQUERORS: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Tr...

The Best Reviews

Not everyone feels that way, but if more history books were written like this one, there would be far more people who think back fondly on their high school U.S. History class.

Oct 22 2003 | Read Full Review of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Tr...

World War II Database

Despite the title of The Conquerors by Michael Beschloss, along with pretty cover picture of the determined faces of FDR and Harry S Truman overlooking a burning map of Germany, this book is not a military or even diplomatic account of America's role in defeating Nazi Germany and it's axis partne...

Jan 19 2005 | Read Full Review of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Tr...

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