Commander in Chief

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants and Their War
If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
Published:May 1, 2004
By Eric Larrabee (Author)

Few American presidents have exercised their constitutional authority as commander in chief with more determination than Franklin D. Roosevelt. He intervened in military operations more often and to better effect than his contemporaries Churchill and Stalin, and maneuvered events so that the Grand Alliance was directed from Washington. In this expansive history, Eric Larrabee examines the extent and importance of FDR's wartime leadership through his key military leaders—Marshall, King, Arnold, MacArthur, Vandergrift, Nimitz, Eisenhower, Stilwell, and LeMay.

Devoting a chapter to each man, the author studies Roosevelt's impact on their personalities, their battles (sometimes with each other), and the consequences of their decisions. He also addresses such critical subjects as Roosevelt's responsibility for the war and how well it achieved his goals. First published in 1987, this comprehensive portrait of the titans of the American military effort in World War II is available in a new paperback edition for the first time in sixteen years.

List Price: $32.95
Member Price: $26.36
Product Details
  • Paperback : 735 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (May 1, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1591144558
  • ISBN-13: 9781591144557
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 35.2 oz
  • "Larrabee here assembles what, essentially, is a collection of short biographies of four army generals (George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Joseph Stilwell); two air force generals ("Hap" Arnold, Curtis LeMay); one marine general (A. A. Vandegrift); and two admirals (Ernest King, Chester Nimitz)all of whom oversaw the execution of Roosevelt's strategic directives during World War II. The emphasis throughout is on the relationships, direct and indirect, these officers had with the president, illustrating the premise that "more than any man FDR ran the war, and ran it well enough to deserve the gratitude of his countrymen then and since, and of those from whom he lifted the yoke of the Axis tyrannies." The book is well researched and superbly writtenand studded with the author's blunt opinions. Criticizing Roosevelt's China policy ("bad in conception, bad in execution"), Larrabee calls the president's treatment of Stilwell the darkest blot on his record as commander in chief. The chapter on MacArthur and his staff is especially scathing: 'A false giant among real pygmies.' " — Publishers Weekly
  • "A delight to read, this book is as fluidly written as it is sophisticated." — Library Journal

Eric Larrabee, a World War II army veteran, is the author of several books. He has taught at Columbia, among other New York universities, and served on the National Endowment for the Arts and New York City Council on the Arts.

More by this Author

Commander in Chief
Few American presidents have exercised their constitutional authority as commander in chief with...Read More

Related Content

None found for this author.

Events and Conferences

None found for this author.

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Reviews


Conferences and Events

2018 U.S. Naval Institute Annual Meeting

Wed, 2018-05-02

2018 U.S. Naval Institute Annual MeetingWednesday, 2 May 20184:00 - 5:45 p.m.Washington, DC The 145th Annual Meeting of the...

View All

From the Press

26 April - Presentation

Thu, 2018-04-26

28 April - Festival

Sat, 2018-04-28

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership