Print this page Share

From Isolation to War: 1931 - 1941, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-992-4
264 pages
January 2015, ©2003, Wiley-Blackwell
From Isolation to War: 1931 - 1941, 3rd Edition (0882959921) cover image


In a major revision of this popular text, Dr. Justus Doenecke integrates scholarly research conducted in the 1990s to offer readers a fresh picture of the major events and historiographical controversies in American diplomacy in the decade before Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

Individual chapters center on the aftermath of World War I, the Manchurian crisis, the expansion of Germany and Japan and the U.S. response, FDR's policy towards Europe from the Munich conference to his "shoot-on-sight" orders, and Roosevelt's stance toward Asia from the termination of the 1911 trade treaty with Japan and the breaking of diplomatic relations. A final chapter considers the background of the Pearl Harbor attack, stressing not only the role of Admiral Yamamoto but the revisionist arguments concerning event, including the "devil theory" of the president's culpability.

This third edition includes entirely new material including discussions of Roosevelt's leadership style, the recognition of the Soviet Union, policy toward Cuba and Mexico, Pan-American conferences, the 1940 mission of Sumner Welles, the Four Freedoms, and the U.S. Army victory plan of autumn 1940. Certain other passages have been expanded, such as those concerning the background of American anti-interventionism, major peace groups, the London Economic Conference of 1933, the Ethiopian conflict, the Spanish Civil War, the Nye Committee, the predicament of Jewish refugees, the Soviet-Finnish war, FDR's Japan diplomacy and his last-minute assurances to British ambassador Halifax, and the latest arguments over Pearl Harbor. Also new to this edition is a collection of striking photographs.

The third edition of this informative and engaging text-one enjoyed by instructors and students alike for decades-is appropriate for use in the U.S. history survey as well as in course on twentieth-century history, American foreign diplomacy, and international relations.

See More

Table of Contents

Foreword VII

Preface XI

Acknowledgments, Second Edition XIII

Acknowledgments, First Edition XV

Chapter One: In Search of Peace 1

Chapter Two: Manchuria 17

Chapter Three: Dictators and Neutrality 47

Chapter Four: Toward War in Europe 82

Chapter Five: Toward War in the Pacific 130

Chapter Six: Day of Infamy 170

Bibliographical Essays 188

Subject Index 215

Author Index 231

See More

Author Information

Justus D. Donecke is professor of history at New College of Florida, where he has been a member of the history faculty since 1969. He received his B.A. from Colgate University in 1960 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1966. His books include Not to the Swift: The Old Isolationists in the Cold War Era (1979); The Presidencies of James A Garfield and Chester A. Arthur (1981); When the Wicked Rise: American Opinion-Makers and the Manchurian Crisis of 1931-1933 (1984); Anti-Intervention: A Bibliographical Introduction to Isolationism and Pacifism from World War I to the Early Cold War (1987); The Battle against Intervention, 1939-1941 (1997); and The New Deal (2002). His book In Danger Undaunted: Anti-Interventionist Movement of 1940-1941 as Revealed in the papers of the America First Committee (1990) was awarded the Arthur S. Link Prize for Documentary Editing by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. His book Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939-1941 (2000) received the annual Herbert Hoover Book Award from the Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa, as best book on any topic of American history within the years 1914-1964.

The late John E. Wilz was professor of history at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he has been a member of the history faculty from 1958 until his death in 1994. He received his B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1954 and his Ph.D. from the institution in 1959. His books include In Search for Peace: The Senate Munitions Inquiry, 1934-36 (1963); The Teaching of American History in High Schools (with Maurice G. Baxter and Robert F. Ferrell, 1964); The Search for Identity: Modern American History (1973); The Search for Memory: Viewpoints in American History (with Richard E. Marshall, 1973); Books in American History: A Basic List for High Schools and Junior Colleges (2nd ed.; with Nancy C. Cridland, 1981); Democracy Challenged: The United States since World War II (1990); and United States Policy vis-à-vis Korea, 1850-1950 (1992). He was a Fulbright-Hays lecturer at the University of West Indies, Jamaica; Hamburg University; and Graz University.

See More


Praise for the second edition:
"Doenecke has updated Wilz's arguments, added much new information and breathed life into 20-year-old prose; the result is a satsifying synthesis of recent writing on the period and a good read. ... From Isolation to War is a balanced and intelligent book well-suited to students and teachers of American diplomatic history. All readers will delight in the vividness of the authors' writing. ... Those who find most history books dry and lifeless ought to give this one a try." (The Colgate Scene, November 1991)
See More

More in this series

Back to Top