A Blueprint for War: FDR and the Hundred Days that Mobilized America

by Susan Dunn



-Yale University Press, 2018

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.

"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 Britian 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

“Susan Dunn has written a wonderful book about an important and, until now, under-examined chapter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency. In A Blueprint for War, we see Roosevelt at his best-the skilled navigator of domestic politics and the visionary shepherd of U.S. foreign policy. Dunn shows how FDR's Third Hundred Days were critical to overcoming isolationism and rebuilding American leadership in age of global turmoil."-E.J. Dionne Jr., co-author of One Nation After Trump

“Dunn rightly calls this {sense of purpose} 'a decisive, irreversible shift in national consciousness,' transforming America from isolationist into internationalist . . . . Much of this had only been half explained, and Dunn's achievement is to make the view of FDR's accomplishment clear."-David M. Shribman, Boston Globe

Read the Review in StrategyPage, January 30, 2019

Read the Review in Boston Globe, April 5, 2018

Read the Review in the Yale University Press Blog, April 16, 2018

Listen to Susan Dunn's interview on Northeast Public Radio on A Blueprint for War, May 2018

Watch Susan Dunn's talk on C-Span's Book TV on A Blueprint for War, June 2018

Listen to Susan Dunn's interview with Lewis Lapham of Lapham's Quarterly, May 2018

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