Those Angry Days

  • by Lynne Olson
  • Narrated by Robert Fass
  • 18 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At the center of the debate over American intervention in World War II stood the two most famous men in America: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who championed the interventionist cause, and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who as unofficial leader and spokesman for America's isolationists emerged as the president's most formidable adversary. Their contest of wills personified the divisions within the country at large, and Lynne Olson makes masterly use of their dramatic personal stories to create a poignant and riveting narrative. While FDR, buffeted by political pressures on all sides, struggled to marshal public support for aid to Winston Churchill's Britain, Lindbergh saw his heroic reputation besmirched-and his marriage thrown into turmoil-by allegations that he was a Nazi sympathizer. Spanning the years 1939 to 1941, Those Angry Days vividly re-creates the rancorous internal squabbles that gripped the United States in the period leading up to Pearl Harbor. After Germany vanquished most of Europe, America found itself torn between its traditional isolationism and the urgent need to come to the aid of Britain, the only country still battling Hitler. The conflict over intervention was, as FDR noted, "a dirty fight," rife with chicanery and intrigue, and Those Angry Days recounts every bruising detail. In Washington, a group of high-ranking military officers, including the Air Force chief of staff, worked to sabotage FDR's pro-British policies. Roosevelt, meanwhile, authorized FBI wiretaps of Lindbergh and other opponents of intervention. At the same time, a covert British operation, approved by the president, spied on antiwar groups, dug up dirt on congressional isolationists, and planted propaganda in U.S. newspapers. The stakes could not have been higher. The combatants were larger than life.
With the immediacy of a great novel, Those Angry Days brilliantly recalls a time fraught with danger when the future of democracy and America's role in the world hung in the balance.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Incivility in Politics - A Real Shocker!

This is a very informative and interesting audio. My husband and I listened to it on a cross-country road trip, and it took up a fair number of days and states! We learned a lot!

Both a history of the contentious battle leading up to WWII and a semi-biography of Lindbergh (and, to an extent his wife Ann,) this new work by Lynne Olson succeeds on the first count but falls a bit short on the second. So many people were involved in the anti-war and America First movements, and their motives were so varied, that the account and the cast of characters is sometimes too complicated to follow, and the Lindberghs are absent for much of the discussion. I found myself wanting to get back to them.

But this is at heart the tale of two very different, very opinionated, very stubborn men of great influence in a turbulent time. Hearing their story (and that of other pro-and-anti-WWII activists) is a reminder that no action in American history has been without controversy, not even the response to the Hitler movement in Germany. Some of those who opposed war were genuinely and earnestly convinced that involvement in WWII would be disastrous for America - they were labeled traitors and anti-Semites. Those who wanted to come to the aide of Britain were called war-mongers. It is painful to recognize in these historical arguments the same short-sighted intolerance and vicious personal attacks which are so common in today's politics.

Japan ultimately settled the argument between the interventionists and the isolationists.
Lynne Olson justly reminds us that such periods of debate should not be forgotten.
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- C. Telfair "Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!"

Part of the FDR story. There's a lot not covered.

If you could sum up Those Angry Days in three words, what would they be?

Good listen. Good history. No "thrills." Stuff that will keep a crusty old curmudgeon tuned in.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lindbergh for stiffing his mother-in-law who tried to stiff him.

Which scene was your favorite?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Heavens NO!

Any additional comments?

Lynn Olsen's CITIZENS OF LONDON is a historical masterpiece.

FDR/Lindbergh is good but not THAT good.

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- Carl "Books worth the money are those biographies about our Founding Fathers. Or THE LONG WALK and/or UNBROKEN Try THE LONG WALK a"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-26-2013
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio