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1944 - Jay Winik

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1944 - FDR and the year that changed history
Jay Winik
Simon & Schuster
UK Publication Date

It was not inevitable that World War II would end as it did, or that it would even end well. 1944 was a year that could have stymied the Allies and cemented Hitler's waning power. Instead, it saved those democracies-but with a fateful cost.

1944 witnessed a series of titanic events: FDR at the pinnacle of his wartime leadership as well as his re-election, the planning of Operation Overlord with Churchill and Stalin, the unprecedented D-Day invasion, the liberation of Paris and the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and the tumultuous conferences that finally shaped the coming peace. But on the way, millions of more lives were still at stake as President Roosevelt was exposed to mounting evidence of the most grotesque crime in history, the Final Solution. Just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Nazis were accelerating the killing of millions of European Jews. Winik shows how escalating pressures fell on an all but dying Roosevelt, whose rapidly deteriorating health was a closely guarded secret. Here then, as with D-Day, was a momentous decision for the president. Was winning the war the best way to rescue the Jews? Was a rescue even possible? Or would it get in the way of defeating Hitler? In a year when even the most audacious undertakings were within the world's reach, including the liberation of Europe, one challenge-saving Europe's Jews-seemed to remain beyond Roosevelt's grasp.

Winik provides a stunningly fresh look at the twentieth century's most pivotal year. 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed Historyis the first book to tell these events with such moral clarity and unprecedented sweep, and a moving appreciation of the extraordinary struggles of the era's outsized figures.

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JAY WINIK is the author of the New York Times bestseller APRIL 1865, which received wide international acclaim. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. A senior scholar of history and public policy at the University of Maryland, he is a member of the governing council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Winik lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

**New York Times Bestseller**

"To understand the 20th century, you need to understand 1944. With his usual great research and storytelling talent, Jay Winik makes that dramatic year come alive."
--Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs

"Posing as a book on President Roosevelt in 1944, this extraordinary book is in fact a compelling, comprehensive history of the Second World War told from FDR's point of view, certainly, but also featuring profound insights into Churchill, Hitler, the ordinary soldiers and civilians, and the monstrous suffering of Europe's Jews. The width of the canvas is astonishing. 1944 might have been, as Winik calls it, 'The year that changed history', but 1944 is a book that will change history-writing."
--Andrew Roberts, author of Masters and Commander: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945

"A gifted storyteller with a proven talent for finding universal meaning in particular historical moments, Jay Winik has now turned his attention to 1944, an epochal year that shaped the way we live now. With grace and energy, he tells a vital story well, bringing those distant days back to vivid life. This is a terrific read."
--Jon Meacham, author of Franklin and Winston and the Pulitzer-winning American Lion

"Jay Winik is a master storyteller and in 1944 he has a horrifying, mesmerizing story to tell. FDR was a great hero of World War II, but as Winik shows, even the wisest of men can have moral blind spots. With drama, power, and passion, Winik brings to life a magnificent and terrible time."
--Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff and Being Nixon

"Jay Winik is a master of the historical moment. His April 1865 distilled the Civil War and Reconstruction into a few fraught weeks. 1944 fittingly encompasses more time, as his canvas is larger, but it delivers the same insight and impact, in similarly vivid and compelling prose. A wonderful book!"
--H. W. Brands, author of Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Nimbly toggling between hemispheres, Winik knits familiar WWII headlines with surprising details from leaders' lives. . . . His recounting of concentration-camp logistics is haunting, and the tales of those who tried desperately to stop the mass murder have cinematic force. . . . Winik's vision of an alternate universe--in which an earlier end to Auschwitz creates a world that prizes goodness--is hard to buy yet easy to crave. But . . . there's no reason history can't change the future."
--Lily Rothman, Time

"Compelling. . . . This dramatic account highlights what too often has been glossed over-that as nobly as the Greatest Generation fought under FDR's command, America could well have done more to thwart Nazi aggression."
--The Boston Globe

"Gripping. . . . Winik tells [the story] well. . . . Haunting."
--New York Times Book Review

"Jay Winik is a master of the annus magnus school of history, in which the past can best be fathomed and told by ferreting out individual seminal years. . . . Winik is an effective storyteller. He expertly weaves together several strands of his narrative. . . . His riveting story of the abject moral indifference to what we now know was good enough evidence of what was going on at such places as Auschwitz and Treblinka makes his indictment all the more powerful."
--National Review

"Brilliantly constructed. . . . Winik is a masterful storyteller. . . . The book serves as a reminder of the dangers of demagoguery [and] may enlighten a generation."
--Buffalo News

"[Winik is] a lively storyteller with a nice eye for detail. . . . If you aren't familiar with the terrible tale of the Roosevelt administration's unwillingness to take decisive action to prevent the mass slaughter of European Jewry, you're likely to be shocked by much of what you read in 1944."
--The Weekly Standard

"Monumental. . . . 1944 is most successful in providing an overview of the political context in which Roosevelt's decisions were made. . . . This terrible story has been told before, but Winik tells it afresh, an articulate "J'accuse!" against State Department obstructionism. . . . Compelling."
--The Jewish Week

First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Keyword Index
World War, 1939-1945 - United States.|Political leadership - United States - History - 20th century.|Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages
xiii, 639

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