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“Under the Influence of Mahan”: Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and their Understanding of American National Interest

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Abstract:

This article explores links in the grand strategic outlook of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, with particular reference to the influence upon both men of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan. It focuses upon an episode during Franklin Roosevelt's tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, when he was in direct correspondence with both Theodore and Mahan on matters of grand strategy and naval policy. The paper argues that Theodore Roosevelt proved a crucial conduit in the formulation of Franklin Roosevelt's grand strategic outlook, both through his promulgation of Mahanian thought and his support of Franklin's correspondence with the Admiral. This in turn would be important later during Franklin Roosevelt's leadership of the United States.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09592290802564536

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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