The Washington War: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II

October 30, 2019


The Washington War: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II

Thursday, October 30, 2019
5:30 pm with reception to follow

Pogue Auditorium
George C. Marshall Foundation
VMI Parade, Lexington, Virginia

Due to limited seating, please RSVP no later than October 28, 2019.

To reserve your seat call Leigh McFaddin at 540-463-7103, ext. 138 or email Members and students will be admitted free; non-members will pay $15 at the door.

A part of the George C. Marshall Legacy Series

About the Lecture

Please join us as we welcome Dr. James Lacey as he discusses the relationship between President Franklin Roosevelt, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the War Cabinet during World War II. He is the author of The Washington War: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II.

Three quarters of a century after the overwhelming defeat of the totalitarian Axis forces, the terrifying, razor-thin calculus on which so many critical decisions turned has been forgotten—but had any of these debates gone the other way, the outcome of the war could have been far different: The army in August 1941, about to be disbanded, saved by a single vote. Production plans that would have delayed adequate war matériel for years after Pearl Harbor, circumvented by one uncompromising man’s courage and drive. The delicate ballet that precluded a separate peace between Stalin and Hitler. The almost-adopted strategy to stage D-Day at a fatally different time and place. It was all a breathtakingly close-run thing, again and again.

Renowned historian James Lacey takes readers behind the scenes in the cabinet rooms, the Pentagon, the Oval Office, and Hyde Park, and at the pivotal conferences—Campobello Island, Casablanca, Tehran—as these disputes raged. Here are colorful portraits of the great figures—and forgotten geniuses—of the day: New Dealers versus industrialists, political power brokers versus the generals, Churchill and the British high command versus the U.S. chiefs of staff, innovators versus entrenched bureaucrats . . . with the master manipulator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the center, setting his brawling patriots one against the other and promoting and capitalizing on the furious turf wars.

Based on years of research and extensive, previously untapped archival resources, The Washington War is the first integrated, comprehensive chronicle of how all these elements—and towering personalities—clashed and ultimately coalesced at each vital turning point, the definitive account of Washington at real war and the titanic political and bureaucratic infighting that miraculously led to final victory.

About Dr. James Lacey

JAMES LACEY is the Professor of Strategy at the Marine Corps War College. Prior to that, he was a widely published senior analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, DC. He also teaches graduate level courses in Military History and Global Issues at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. Mr. Lacey has written extensively for many other magazines, and his opinion columns have been published in National ReviewThe Weekly Standard, the New York Post, the New York SunForeign Affairs, and many other publications. He is also regularly published in the Military History MagazineMilitary History Quarterly, and the Journal of Military History. He is the author of Moment of Battle (Bantam), The First Clash (Bantam), Takedown: The 3rd Infantry Division’s 21-Day Assault on Baghdad (Naval Institute Press), Pershing (Palgrave-Macmillan), The Making of Peace (Cambridge University Press), The Making of Grand Strategy (Cambridge University Press), and Keep from All Thoughtful Men (USNI, 2010). Mr. Lacey also has a trilogy of works on global terrorism published in 2008 (Naval Institute Press).