The overriding theme of the book is Roosevelt’s deliberate and painstaking efforts to win Stalin’s trust in order to not only achieve victory in the war but to implement his vision of a post-war world order in which the UN would mediate international conflicts to prevent war and eventually facilitate disarmament.
“FDR was a master manipulator of people. He instinctively knew how to keep Stalin and Churchill working together…Roosevelt was brilliant at sizing people up. He could intuit other people’s views of reality and appeal to them. He could lay out a path that made sense from where other people stood; in the process of understanding, he could lead them forward to accept his goals as theirs.” (p. 324)