Cover image for Storm on the horizon : the challenge to American intervention, 1939-1941
Storm on the horizon : the challenge to American intervention, 1939-1941
Doenecke, Justus D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [2000]

Physical Description:
xix, 551 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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E806 .D628 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"Between 1939 and 1941, from the time that Germany invaded Poland until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Americans engaged in a debate as intense as any in U.S. history. In Storm on the Horizon, prominent historian Justus Doenecke analyzes the personalities, leading action groups, and major congressional debates surrounding the decision to participate in World War II. Doenecke is the first scholar to place the anti-interventionist movement in a wider framework by focusing on its underlying military, economic, and geopolitical assumptions." "Doenecke addresses key questions such as: How did the anti-interventionists perceive the ideology, armed potential, and territorial aspirations of Germany, the British Empire, Japan, and the Soviet Union? To what degree did they envision Nazi Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet Union? What role would the U.S. play in a world increasingly composed of competing economic blocs and military alliances? Storm on the Horizon is certain to become the definitive study of this tumultuous time and will require readers to reevaluate their understanding of the United States's entry into World War II."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Justus D. Doenecke is professor of history at the New College of University of South Florida.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In the aftermath of the Cold War, the purpose of American foreign policy, particularly before World War II, has been increasingly scrutinized. Diplomatic historian and prolific author Doenecke (New College of the Univ. of South Florida; The Presidencies of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur) turns here to the pre-World War II debate between interventionists and isolationists. He focuses on the varying motivations of the isolationist "anti-interventionists" between 1939 and 1941, whom he finds to be a mixed bag of isolationists, pacifists, and ideologues ranging across the political spectrum from Communists to Fascists. Unlike Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this diverse coalition was inflexible and too divided. Like Doenecke's previous books, this work demonstrates solid scholarship. Although notes and a bibliography take up nearly half of the text, it is still readable. Recommended for academic and World War II collections.DWilliam D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Arguing that the term "isolationist" obscures more than it reveals, Doenecke describes a diverse and often factionalized coalition of individuals and organizations that he labels "anti-interventionists." These anti-interventionists inhabited "many mansions"; a minority were pro-Nazi. Most were conservatives, liberals, progressives, and socialists who genuinely (and quite reasonably) feared that war would undermine democratic values and traditional political and economic institutions. They saw themselves as protecting the US against the threats of revolution, imperialism, and likely wartime restrictions on civil liberties. For a time, pacifists were allied with proponents of a strong hemispheric defense; Norman Thomas and Robert Taft found much they could agree on. Twenty-one chapters consider anti-interventionist responses to national and international events from the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Doenecke examines the heated debates--and often close congressional votes--on many issues, including neutrality legislation, peacetime conscription, and lend-lease to Britain and Russia. This book should be read by serious students of US political and diplomatic history of the 1930s and '40s. Recommended for graduate students, faculty, and all research libraries. L. Maley III University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
List of Acronymsp. xvii
A Note to the Readerp. xix
Introduction: The Many Mansions of Anti-interventionismp. 1
1. War, Phony and Realp. 9
2. Early Hopes for Peacep. 21
3. A Matter of War Aimsp. 29
4. American Goals: An Object of Suspicionp. 42
5. Initial Engagementsp. 59
6. The Fall of Western Europep. 83
7. Protecting the Republicp. 100
8. Military Defense of the Hemispherep. 119
9. Economic Survival in the Americasp. 139
10. War, Peace, and Electionsp. 150
11. Lend-Lease and the "Futile War"p. 165
12. A Troubled Springp. 177
13. Great Britain: An Unfit Allyp. 189
14. The British Empire: A Dubious Causep. 203
15. The Soviets: A Greater Enemyp. 212
16. A Pivotal Summerp. 228
17. Projections of Conflictp. 241
18. Waging Undeclared Warp. 253
19. The Domestic Frontp. 270
20. The Asian Cauldronp. 285
21. Toward the Pacific Warp. 304
Conclusionp. 323
Notesp. 329
Bibliographyp. 501
Indexp. 527
About the Authorp. 551