Storm on the Horizon
The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939-1941
Between 1939-1941, 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 D. 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 standard study of this tumultuous time and will require readers to reevaluate their understanding of the United States entry into World War II.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Extraordinarily well-researched and comprehensive." "This important work should spur fresh and much needed debate." "The book is thoroughly researched, exhaustively documented, and even-handed in its approach." For years, Justus Doenecke has challenged negative conclusions about the anti-interventionists. Storm on the Horizon is his latest and most comprehensive work on these individuals. It is also his most impressive such effort, the first major and full study of the anti-interventionists since Wayne Cole's 1983 Roosevelt and the Isolationists, and a worthy recipient of the Herbert Hoover Book Award of the Hoover Presidential Library Association for 2000.--Mark A. Stoler "Diplomatic History " A raconteur of non-interventionist lore, Doenecke unearths a staggering number of sources, and sufficient biographies, stories, and vignettes to make one wonder if he ever sleeps. Doenecke's major contribution is placing the debate on U.S. intervention within an unfolding, day-by-day context.--Geoffrey S. Smith "International History Review " A treasure of source material.--John D. Chappell "American Historical Review " Thanks to Doenecke's meticulous research, Storm on the Horizon is likely to become the standard work on the noninterventionist movement of 1939 1941. More importantly, it is to be hoped that it will reopen scholarly discussion about a vein of American opinion that has been too quickly dismissed.--John Moser "H-Diplo Reviews " Storm on the Horizon is the most objective, comprehensive, and authoritative account of isolationism in the great debate before Pearl Harbor. In view of today's controversy about 'unilateralism, ' there is all the more reason to take a fresh look at the unilateralists of 1939 1941.--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Justus Doenecke's study of ideological dimensions of anti-interventionist opposition to American entry into World War II is exhaustively researched, broadly conceived, clearly organized, well-written, and balanced in its analyses. It is a superb scholarly accomplishment.--Wayne S. Cole, University of Maryland, College Park This exhaustive, penetrating study should demonstrate once and for all that FDR's foreign policy opponents prior to Pearl Harbor were not simply 'illustrious dunderheads' or ostriches blind to international dangers. As prophetic critics of both the imperial presidency and unrestrained globalism, Doenecke's noninterventionists may have lost the 'great debate' over U.S. entry into World War II, but they still speak to subsequent generations as alternative voices from a usable American past.--J. Garry Clifford, University of Connecticut In this extraordinarily well-researched and comprehensive study, Professor Justus Doenecke examines the intellectual underpinnings of the American anti-interventionist movement of 1939 1941. Although much has been written about the bitter isolationist/interventionist controversy before America's entry into World War II, no one has ever systematically analyzed the anti-interventionists' mindset, motivating ideology, and prejudices. . . . Justus Doenecke fills this gap.--George H. Nash, author of "The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945" Professor Doenecke's new book, Storm on the Horizon, is by far the most inclusive work on pre-war isolationism ever written. Meticulously researched, easily read, and most informative, it is bound to become the standard study of this subject.--Hans L. Trefousse, The City University of New York As Storm on the Horizon amply demonstrates, Justus Doenecke knows more about the so-called isolationists of the pre-World War II era than any other living historian. This comprehensive and even-handed book on opposition to American intervention should remain the standard account for generations.--Leo P. Ribuffo, author of The Old Christian Right Doenecke, a respected historian of the U.S. tradition of isolationism, provides an exhaustive record of the most important episode in that tradition 1939-1941. This important work should spur fresh and much needed debate over that entry into war and the larger anti-interventionist tradition in recent American history.--Walter LaFeber, author of "The Clash: U.S. Japan Relations Throughout History" Eloquently argued and exhaustively documented, Storm on the Horizon traces the principles and practices of the non-interventionists from 1939 to the Pearl Harbor attack. While war ended their opposition, Justus Doenecke, as no scholar before him, demonstrates the logic and resolve of their lost crusade.--Irwin F. Gellman, author of Secret Affairs and The Contender: Richard Nixon, The Congress Years, 1946-1952 Storm on the Horizon is marked by Doenecke's unsurpassed familiarity with the relevant archives and by his rare and refreshing objectivity. . . . Also indicative of the richness of the book are the frequent fascinating tidbits Doenecke serves up. . . . Storm On the Horizon is a work of outstanding scholarship. Sudents of the greatest anitwar movement in American history, revisionists and nonrevisionists alike, are permanently in Justus Doenecke's debt.--Ralph Raico "Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy "