Charles Callan Tansill

Back Door to War

Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933—1941. By Charles Callan Tansill. One of the foremost American diplomatic historians of the twentieth century convincingly argues that Franklin Roosevelt wished to involve the United States in the European War that began in September 1939. When his efforts appeared to come to naught, Roosevelt determined to provoke Japan into an attack on American territory. Doing so would involve Japan’s Axis allies in war also, and so America would thus enter the war through the “back door”.

The strategy succeeded, and Tansill maintains that Roosevelt therefore welcomed Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

Tansill demonstrates quite convincingly his central theme: that FDR sought to include the United States in the Second World War on the side of the Soviet Union from the very beginning, and duped the Japanese into firing the first shot.

Tansill proves his premise by the usage of extensive primary material from US State Department files, current periodicals, and sound reasoning.



Historical Introduction

I: American Relations with the Weimar Republic

II: The Far East in Ferment

III: Continued Friction with Japan Points towards Inevitable War

V: Secretary Hull Spurns a Japanese Olive Branch

VI: Moscow Molds the Political Pattern in the Far East

VII: Mussolini Looks upon Ethiopia with Acquisitive Eyes

VIII: Britain and France Fear to Provoke War over the Issue of Ethiopia

IX: America Anticipates the League in Exerting Economic Pressure upon Italy

X: Mussolini Makes a Mockery out of Collective Security

XI: Ambassador Dodd Finds Berlin an Unpleasant Spot for a Wilsonian Democrat

XII: America Views the Hitler Regime with Increasing Dislike

XIII: Europe Fails to Find a Substitute for Locarno

XIV: The Shadow of Dictatorship Begins to Darken the American Landscape

lXV: Britain Blocks an Effort of Roosevelt to Find a Path to Peace

XVI: Hitler Takes over Austria as a Long-Delayed Step towards Anschluss

XVII: President Beneš Postpones Too Long a Policy of Appeasement

XVIII: Munich: Prelude to Prague

XIX: Hitler Takes Czechoslovakia under Protective Custody

XX: Russia Instigates War in the Far East; Roosevelt Blames Japan

XXI: Japan Proposes a Joint Search for World Peace but Hull Declines

XXII: Europe Moves towards War

XXIII: Stalin Lights the Fuse to World War II

XXIV: Roosevelt Adopts a More Positive Policy towards the War in Europe

XXV: Roosevelt Seeks a Pretext for War with Germany

XXVI: Japan Is Maneuvered into Firing the First Shot at Pearl Harbor



712 pages. Paperback.


Additional information

Weight 33.54 oz
Dimensions 6 × 1.48 × 9 in

Charles Callan Tansill

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