Officially, America entered World War II on December 8, 1941 the day after the bombing of Peal Harbor, but even before that infamous day America had been at war. Long before, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been supporting the Allies. While Americans were sympathetic to the people being crushed under the Axis powers, they were unwilling to enter a foreign war. FDR knew he had to fight against isolationism, anti-Semitism, and the scars of World War I, and win the war of public sentiment. In 1941: Fighting the Shadow War, A Divided America in a World at War, Marc Wortman explores the "complex, contentious, and portentous" journey of America's entry into World War II. FDR used all the powers at his disposal, from helping Winston Churchill and the British Navy with loans, to espionage at home and abroad, to battle with Hitler in the shadows. To gain public opinion, the largest obstacle was Charles Lindberg and his Committee for America First with its following of thousands. Wortman tracks journalists Philip Johnson and William Shirer as they report on the invasion of Poland: one a Nazi sympathizer, the other fervently anti-Nazi. Johnson and Shirer's story are threads woven throughout the book. Combining military and political history, 1941: Fighting the Shadow War, A Divided America in a World at War tells the story of how FDR led the country to war.
Marc Wortman is an independent historian and award-winning freelance journalist. He is the author of The Millionaires' Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented Air Power (the inspiration for the prize-winning, feature-length documentary by Humanus Films) and The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta. He has written for many popular publications, including Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, and Town & Country, and his essays and reviews appear frequently on The Daily Beast.