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How America Saved the World: The Untold Story of U.S. Preparedness Between the World Wars    by Eric Hammel order for
How America Saved the World
by Eric Hammel
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Eric Hammel debunks the myth that America was not really ready for engaging in a world war in the early 1940s. In How America Saved the World, Hammel explains that the decision to turn the entire force and will of a hard-working, innovative nation to arming for war was not made in the weeks following Pearl Harbor.

By the time of the Japanese attack on Hawaii, an alliance of the American government, industry and the military community was already three-fourths of the way towards complete preparedness. According to Hammel, the powers that be in these sectors had begun in mid-November of 1938 to awaken the Sleeping Giant that, once fully aroused, would crush both the Japanese and German military machines.

By November of 1942, the giant would be fully awake. Once the 'necessary untangling of the bureaucratic machinery that then held government's feet to the twin fires of traditional conservative spending policies and the late-and post-Great Depression economic and social realities' was completed, it was full speed ahead. As the author explains, at that point the country never 'flagged, never wavered, never paused, never rested on its inexorable march to victory'.

Beginning in 1919 and looking at the years leading up to World War II, the military historian shows that, contrary to popular myth, the ascension of the United States to the preeminent role in the war was deliberate, orderly and integrated. Things didn't always work as one would have wanted, mistakes were made, and changes were made along the way, but a group of the country's best minds had a good idea of what needed to be accomplished and who could get the job done successfully.

Perhaps not everyone will agree with the opinions set forth in this book, but Eric Hammel provides some strong arguments that the country was far better prepared for the Second World War than most people believe. Those interested in U.S. history, especially military matters, will find this a captivating read and one that may alter a few misconceptions about U.S. preparedness between the world wars.

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