Rendezvous with Destiny – Reviews

"Desperately romantic and impossibly consequential... In Rendezvous with Destiny, Fullilove delivers a rare combination of diplomatic thriller and original history, well-paced and expertly told."  – Kurt Campbell, Financial Times

"Mr Fullilove infuses each chapter with the danger, romance and deadly seriousness of war… The book is at its finest when it portrays Roosevelt as a mariner steering through the fog." – Jordan Chandler Hirsch, Wall Street Journal

“Entertaining… Fine capsule biographies of five remarkable Americans." – David Nasaw, The New York Times Book Review

"Fullilove is a gifted narrative historian, as this immensely readable and enjoyable book demonstrates." – Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs

Rendezvous with Destiny is one of the most absorbing and original histories of World War II that has ever been written.” – Rob Minshull, Weekend Bookworm

“Michael Fullilove has written an outstanding book, marked by insight and irony… Fullilove writes superbly, weaving an intriguing Australian role into his narrative.” – Stephen Loosley, Spectator

"A vivid account of a remarkable time in the history of the United States." – Michael Sexton, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

"Fullilove masterfully demonstrates in this book...the challenges [FDR] faced at home and abroad." – Walter S. Montaño, American Review

"With this insightful portrait of five men..., Michael Fullilove joins Jon Meacham and John Lukacs in an impressive scholarly club." – Jon Sallet, Washington Independent

"An interesting and meticulously researched book, agreeably written and rigorous in its assertion of historical facts...a very rewarding read." – Conrad Black, The National Interest

“From 1939 to 1941, with Europe at war and the United States strongly isolationist, Roosevelt sent five exceptional men to Europe as his personal envoys to assess, among other issues, America’s role. Rendezvous With Destiny is a fascinating and well-written account of a little-known chapter that was crucial to the course of WWII and to America’s global leadership.” – Henry A. Kissinger

Rendezvous with Destiny reminds us that the great challenges of any age typically summon the unconventional; in this case, a president who was perhaps the most unconventional of all. Michael Fullilove has produced a fascinating account of how Franklin Roosevelt and the brightest statesmen of their day helped save a civilisation.” – Paul Keating

"It is a beautifully written book, a driving narrative history with impeccable scholarship as well. Those of us who watch Michael's career with affection and expectation, and for my part at least want him to go further in other arenas, are delighted — but, knowing all we know, not surprised — that with this book he has entered the front rank of international writers in a single bound" – Bob Carr

Rendezvous with Destiny is narrative history in its best and most gripping form. Michael Fullilove wears his scholarship and his years of research very lightly as he brings the extraordinary figures around Franklin Roosevelt to life. I understand FDR's talents and the drama of America's entry into war in a new way after reading this book.” – James Fallows

“Michael Fullilove's compelling account of FDR and the five aides who helped lead the U.S. into the Second World War is an indispensable addition to the literature on the unforgettable events of 1939-1941. Everyone interested in FDR and World War II will want to read this superb book.” – Robert Dallek

"A lively and revealing look at five less-known but nevertheless central figures who, acting on behalf of FDR, helped shape the contours of our world.  Written with verve, this is historical biography at its best." – Robert Kagan

"Rendevous with Destiny provides a revealing account of the entry of the United States into the Second World War, that underlines the importance of leadership and individuals in history.  The story is told with a great eye for detail, as well as a sound grasp of the broad arc of events." – Francis Fukuyama

Rendezvous with Destiny is a fascinating tale of diplomacy by envoy, Franklin Roosevelt’s preferred means of guaranteeing that he and he alone could discern the entire tangled web of American foreign policy before Pearl Harbor. Michael Fullilove has an eye for telling details and policy nuances, but above all, he gives us a rollicking good read!” – Anne-Marie Slaughter

“Michael Fullilove’s fascinating book reads as easily as a good novel, but it is also an important history of one of the most crucial decisions of the 20th century.” – Joseph S. Nye

 “Fullilove proves these crucial figures were more than just the servants of the American Goliath’s move from isolationism – they were shapers of destiny in their own right. And he achieves this with a gripping narrative power.” – Thomas Keneally

“Michael Fullilove skillfully recounts an underappreciated strand of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s statecraft—his innovative deployment of five envoys in service of a strategy that would, ultimately, change the course of history. The efforts of Welles, Donovan, Hopkins, Willkie and Harriman, under FDR’s masterful leadership, laid the foundation for Allied victory in World War Two and buttressed Roosevelt’s campaign to awaken America from isolationism.” – Strobe Talbott

"Highly recommended for fans of history and politics." – Forrest Link, Library Journal

"Rendezvous with Destiny is well-researched and informative. Those interested in foreign affairs will find it a joy to read." – Alexander Lovelace, Military Review

Men and Women of Australia! — Reviews

 ‘A highly readable collection that nicely balances seriousness and wit’ – Pick of the Week’ in The Age

‘A fascinating collection’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘Several collections of, and books about, Australian speeches have appeared in recent years. Fullilove’s is… the best and most personal. It’s cleverly organised, includes some surprising gems and, as a bonus, sits nicely in your hands.’ – TIME

‘This excellent collection of speeches reaffirms just how powerful the spoken word can be. Former prime ministerial adviser Michael Fullilove has compiled an inspired collection of oratory that seamlessly spans time, place and theme… this is Australia in the palm of your hand.’ – Melbourne Herald-Sun

‘If you must buy a book not written by me this Christmas, you could do worse than get the one edited and compiled by Michael Fullilove, entitled “Men and Women of Australia!” Our Greatest Modern Speeches. My only criticism is that a book of such class should actually have been encased in leather and released with hoo ha befitting the words within.’ Peter Fitzsimons, Sun-Herald

‘A delicious collection… It is no easy task to collect speeches, the essence of our oral history, and reduce them to book form. It is a task Fullilove has performed with gusto… the best line in the book belongs not to the subjects but to their editor. In his acknowledgments, Fullilove thanks (former prime minister Paul) Keating for showing him “the psychic income that comes from public service.” Something for the rest of us… to ponder as we go about our Australian lives.’ – Law Society Journal

‘This is the raw material of Australian history… It contains wonderful imaginative choices… If you want a sense of Australian history, this is the essential source material.’ – Bob Carr

A Larger Australia — Reviews

Few people are better qualified to discuss Australia's place in the world than Michael Fullilove, executive director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. For anyone with even a passing interest in foreign affairs this is a thought-provoking and highly accessible look at Australia's international relations and how they can be improved. This is a fine and timely consideration of issues of critical importance to our nation. It is also highly readable and likely to start some important conversations. – The Australian Financial Review

I thank Michael Fullilove for the time and effort involved in preparing a lecture series of such breadth and depth. I have no doubt that his insights will make a significant contribution to Australian debate on these natters for many years ahead. – James Spigelman

An ambitious, thoughtful vision for Australian foreign policy. – Hamish Macdonald

Full of big-hearted insights, Michael Fullilove sets a tone for public debate which could enrich us all. – Michael Cathcart

The talks are mercifully cliché free. They sparkle with pithy observations and choice anecdotes. The 2015 Boyers are a pleasure to consume. – Dr Andrew Leigh MP