David Alan Johnson

Decided On The Battlefield


Battle of Wills: Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and the Last Year of the Civil War
Historians have long analyzed the battles and the military strategies that brought the American Civil War to an end. Going beyond tactics and troop maneuvers, this book concentrates on the characters of the two opposing generals–Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant–showing how their different temperaments ultimately determined the course of the war. As author David Alan Johnson explains, Grant’s dogged and fearless determination eventually gained the upper hand over Lee’s arguably superior military brilliance.

Delving into their separate upbringings, the book depicts Grant as a working-class man from Ohio and Lee as a Virginia aristocrat. Both men were strongly influenced by their fathers. Grant learned a lesson in determination as he watched his father overcome economic hardships to make a successful living as a tanner and leather goods dealer. By contrast, Lee did his best to become the polar opposite of his father, a man whose bankruptcy and imprisonment for unpaid debts brought disgrace upon the family. Lee cultivated a manner of unimpeachable respectability and patrician courtesy, which in the field of battle did not always translate into decisive orders.

Underscoring the tragedy of this fratricidal conflict, the author recounts episodes from the earlier Mexican war (1846-1848), when Grant and Lee and many other officers who would later oppose each other were comrades in arms.

This vivid narrative brings to life a crucial turning point in American history, showing how character and circumstances combined to have a decisive influence on the course of events.

DECIDED ON THE BATTLEFIELD: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln, and the Election of 1864
The election of 1864, between Abraham Lincoln and Democratic candidate George B. McClellan, was won on the battlefield as much as by Lincoln's re-election campaign. If Lincoln had not won, the Democratic Party planned to end the war immediately, grant the Confederate states their independence, and let the Southern states keep their slaves. Sherman's capture of Atlanta and Philip Sheridan's campaign in Virginia turned public opinion, and gave Lincoln the popular support he needed to win the election in November 1864.

Betrayal: The True Story of J. Edgar Hoover and the Nazi Saboteurs
George Dasch lived in the United States for 19 years, and loved America. When the Nazis recruited him to return to the US as part of a sabotage plot, Dasch reported ‘Operation Pastorius’ to the FBI. But J. Edgar Hoover took full credit for capturing the saboteurs and sent Dasch to prison. Includes chapter on the Bush Administration's use of this case as a precedent to use military tribunals for terrorist suspects.

The Friendliest of Enemies: The Love - Hate Relationship Between Britain and the United States (Work In Progress)
Since the thirteen North American colonies declared their independence from Britain, the relationship between Britain and the United States has undergone several major changes -- from traditional enemies, to reluctant allies, to Britain becoming an American dependent after the Second World War, to Britain's current role as America's chief critic.

Righteous Deception
In the spring of 1944, Adolf Hitler firmly believed that the Allies would invade the Continent by landing on the beaches of Normandy, but anti-Nazi officers in German Intelligence persuaded him that Normandy would only be a diversion. The real D-Day landings, Hitler was assured, would take place at Calais.

The Battle of Britain:
The American Connection

During the summer of 1940, Winston Churchill was fighting a two-front war. The first was against Adolf Hitler and his war machine, especially the Luftwaffe. The second was against a United States that was determined to stay neutral at all costs.

Selected Works

Civil War Non-Fiction, Psychology
How the backgrounds of Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant influenced their campaign against each other in Virginia in 1864 and 1865.
Abraham Lincoln's re-election in 1864 was decided on the batlefields of Virginia and Georgia as much as at the ballot box.
J. Edgar Hoover sends an innocent man to prison to save his own reputation. Includes chapter on the Bush Administration's use of this case as a precedent for military tribunals to try terrorist suspects.
The relationship between Britain and the United States has been long, frequently contentious, and sometimes comical.
How anti-Nazi Intelligence officers tricked Hitler regarding the time and place of D-Day.
Britain not only had to fight the German Luftwaffe, but also had to battle isolationism in the US.