Using hitherto unpublished documents and interviews, Nigel Hamilton rewrites the famous account of World War II strategy given by Winston Churchill in his memoirs. Hamilton's celebrated trilogy culminates with a story of triumph and tragedy. Just as FDR was proven right by the D-day landings he had championed, so was he found to be mortally ill in the spring of 1944. He was the architect of a victorious peace that he would not live to witness.
...count Nigel Hamilton in Roosevelt’s camp—not just in his camp but perhaps his most passionate and eloquent champion ... War and Peace is the third and final volume in Hamilton’s F.D.R. at War trilogy and certainly as gripping and powerfully argued as the first two...Hamilton, as the historian Evan Thomas once observed, ended up producing the extended memoir that Roosevelt himself never got to write ...Hamilton’s case for Roosevelt is a compelling one. Even in decline, the president had a vision that eluded others, including his closest partner. Yet if the author’s antipathy for Churchill’s strategic miscalculations is buttressed by prodigious research, it nonetheless seems to sweep aside too easily the profound importance of his singular resolve, grit and determination to defeat Hitler ... or the American’s strategic brilliance. Roosevelt was the architect and engineer who translated Churchill’s grandiloquence into a plan for victory. The Allies did fight on the beaches, as Churchill once memorably vowed, but it fell to Franklin Roosevelt to make sure they were the right beaches.
War and Peace is narrative history dense with illuminating detail that puts the reader in the room with Roosevelt ... But Mr. Hamilton has a larger purpose than merely rehearsing the epic of World War II: He is drafting a revisionist brief to counter the version offered by Churchill in his six-volume The Second World War and to give FDR due credit for his sly, masterful leadership ... Students of the era may be familiar with the evidence Mr. Hamilton marshals over 500 pages, but much of it will come as revelation to general readers. ...the author offers a persuasive chronicle of the turning point of the war in Europe ... If history belongs to the best and latest writer, Nigel Hamilton has won the war for Roosevelt’s legacy from Churchill—as if FDR needed any help.
Hamilton’s account of FDR getting through the historic Yalta conference on nothing more than naked determination makes for moving reading, but certainly our author is right to maintain that the pathos of that final decline...can pull attention away from the larger picture. Hamilton himself, drawing on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, has successfully broadened the picture. This is not another 'final days' account of FDR; rather, it’s a far [more] impressive tale of a long final battle.