"Fools, Drunks, and the United States": August 12, 1941
by Markham Pyle
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This is the story of America on August 12, 1941, four months before Pearl Harbor. Isolationism was still strong, FDR was hammering out the Atlantic Charter with Churchill (to the fury of America Firsters), the Japanese were ready to kick off a war, most Americans were more interested in baseball and radio shows than in a distant conflict, and Congress decided to keep the draft - by one vote.
Markham Shaw Pyle's snapshot of America on a day more fateful than any then knew is the story of farmers and big-league ballplayers, spies, editors, whores, Congressmen, housewives, and disgruntled draftees; of events in Europe, massacres in China, and Japanese war plans; and of "Mister Sam," House Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas, trying to get the draft extension through, come Hell or high water.
From border radio stations to Ebbets Field, from Congress to cruisers at sea; from Maine to Texas, Hatteras to the Golden Gate and far Hawaii, this is the rough music of America's serenade by destiny.
- Bapton Books, February 2013
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