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Mobilizing America: Robert P. Patterson and the War Effort, 1940-1945 by Keith E. Eiler (233,000 words, 22 illustrations) This ebook is published by Plunkett Lake Press by arrangement with the original publisher, Cornell University Press.

Judge Robert P. Patterson resigned from the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City in 1940 to join the War Department to help prepare the country for a war he knew was coming. As Under Secretary of War he was responsible under
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson for industrial mobilization and procurement for the army and the army air force. The study documents Patterson’s extraordinary and largely unrecognized contributions to the war effort, recounts how the federal government transformed itself for war and converted a vast market-oriented economy into an effective war machine, and documents numerous issues about the evolution of civil-military relations during the emergency. Patterson emerges as a self-effacing public servant of unusual ability and character.

“This splendid biography does belated justice to one of the unsung heroes of the Second World War. Robert P. Patterson, a quiet man of commanding ability and sturdy purpose, played a key role in the mobilization of American men and resources that made victory possible. Mobilizing America illuminates both the integrity of the man and the complexity of his achievement.” — Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Mobilizing America, Keith E. Eiler... makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the mobilization by describing the contributions of Robert P. Patterson, a heretofore neglected yet pivotal figure in making President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vision of America as the Arsenal of Democracy into a reality... Mobilizing America is a worthy work of scholarship. Gracefully written... it deftly examines Patterson’s style and numerous issues of wartime policy and reminds us that a ‘purposeful’ individual can make a difference in a vast national endeavor.” — John Kennedy Ohl, The Journal of Military History

“Students of the Second World War, even professional military officers, are often woefully uninformed about the vast and complex war effort waged on the home front to provide the supplies, trained manpower, and munitions necessary to ultimate victory. Keith Eiler has found a way to portray this mobilization effort vividly by telling the story through the eyes of Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson, a modest but dynamic man whose contributions, in the author’s words, were ‘comparable only to those of the army’s chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, and of the president himself.’ I recommend this book to anyone seeking to attain a full understanding of the entire United States war effort.” —
John S. D. Eisenhower

“In Keith Eiler’s masterful and meticulously researched account, the unsung pillar of America’s victorious mobilization for World War II, Under Secretary of War Robert Patterson — a man of rare character and judgment and an ‘incomparably purposeful mobilizer’ — is at long last given his due.” —
Lieutenant General John H. Cushman, US Army, Retired

“In an era when the common defense is no longer considered the responsibility of every citizen but instead is provided by hundreds of billions of tax dollars, technical experts, and esoteric systems and strategies, it is reassuring to be reminded of the sincerely patriotic efforts of a man like Patterson. Keith Eiler’s book is well researched, lucidly written, and full of insights and analysis that go beyond the usual biography of an important public personality.” —
J. Garry Clifford, University of Connecticut

“A simple, straightforward account of the mobilization and brilliant career of Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson... Written with an even-handed scholarly manner that is outstanding... It reads very well.” —
American Historical Review

“As a study of the domestic economy during WWII, this book is unparalleled.” —

“Eiler has written a comprehensive account of Patterson’s Herculean efforts (largely unrecognized then or later), which were so essential for the final victory. Patterson emerges as a patriot and ideal public servant.” —
Library Journal

“This account of the career of one of the 20th century’s great public servants... is a dramatic story, ably narrated and documented, about a side of World War II — the domestic war against entrenched bureaucracy — in which Patterson played an heroic role.” —
Washington Times

“A superbly researched, nicely written account of the role of Robert Patterson, the civilian hero of the industrial mobilization for World War II, in bringing to reality Franklin Roosevelt’s vision of the Arsenal of Democracy.” —
Douglas Kinnard, Former Chief of Military History, US Army, and author of President Eisenhower and Strategy Management

“The ultimate success of American mobilization for World War II has obscured how many bumpy stretches there were along the road. This study offers much-needed new insights into the shortcomings of the effort, [insights] from the War Department vantage point of Robert P. Patterson, who thought mobilization, especially of manpower, was not stringent enough.” —
Russell F. Weigley, Temple University

“[A] detailed, well-researched book.” — Benjamin L. Alpers,
The Journal of American History

“Eiler’s book is a valuable examination of the War Department during World War II. Scholars are in his debt for recording at length and with great care Patterson’s selfless wartime service and dedication.” — Paul A. C. Koistinen,
Armed Forces & Society

“Robert Patterson emerges as an unpretentious man of high standards, a real hero and role model for government service. His contributions to victory were equated with those of the Army chief of staff and the president. Eiler does him justice.” — William J. McGurk,
Naval War College Review

“To produce this scholarly work, Mr. Eiler... spent over twenty-five years painstakingly poring through Judge Patterson’s files, documents in the Library of Congress’s manuscript division, War Department records, and documents in the National Archives and interviewing scores of people involved in the mobilization process... The result is a valuable resource, with insights that might otherwise have been lost... For public contract lawyers and officials... the book relates the story of a giant in our field.” — James F. Nagle,
Public Contract Law Journal