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Roosevelt's Centurions

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ISBN: 9780449012208
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Full Title: Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II

Having enjoyed Joseph Persico's Franklin and Lucy a great deal, I was fairly excited to notice his Roosevelt's Centurions, in its audio book form, on the shelves of my library recently. The book followed the perspective of a typical American WW2 book, viewing events from the American perspective. Although I found the book to contain little or no new information, it thought it would nevertheless be a great primer for WW2, for those seeking an entry point into this complex period of battles and political intrigues. From big names such as Douglas MacArthur and Dwight Eisenhower to names fading through the progression of time such as Harry Hopkins and Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the author provided a careful analysis of their personalities, successes, and failures. To a limited agree, he also evaluated a number of foreign figures, including the likes of Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Bernard Montgomery. The greatest value of this book, in my opinion, was located in the final chapter of the book, in which Persico briefly analyzed why Roosevelt chose each figure, and how the each of them succeeded in their given positions. As far as disappointments were considered, I thought the book was overly American-centric. To that end, I noticed that Persico cared to document the names of reporters, names of translators, and even names of his White House cook and Warm Springs servant, but he failed to mention the names of leading Chinese generals present at a high level conference attended by Joseph Stilwell (who was one of the prominent "Centurions" featured in this book). I could not discern whether it was due to lack of research or western arrogance, but nevertheless it did let me down.

As noted previously, I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Dan Woren did a fine job with the reading as far as clarity and pace were concerned. However, I did not enjoy the voice acting he employed for the foreign voices. My largest complaint would be his treatment for Asians, all of whom were given more or less the same voice by Woren regardless whether Persico was quoting Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Oshima, Chinese Chairman Chiang Kaishek, or Philippine President Manuel Quezon. It was reminiscent of the generic Asian stereotype in line with Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan of an era long ago.

Having enjoyed Franklin and Lucy so much, I was rather disappointed at Roosevelt's Centurions. Especially given that it was released in 2013, the lack of new material was particularly disappointing.



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More on Roosevelt's Centurions
Related People:
» Bradley, Omar
» Eisenhower, Dwight
» Hopkins, Harry
» King, Ernest
» Marshall, George
» Patton, George
» Roosevelt, Franklin
» Stilwell, Joseph



Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944