Thursday, February 3, 2011
Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History, by Robert Sherwood, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1948. Now, here is a thorough book, down to minutes and transcripts of the final years of two of American History's greatest men. Its true you can argue that many of the things they did may have been wrong and unconstitutional but the fact is, they provided leadership, one publicly, and one as his closest assistant, at a time when nothing but leadership would do. I am not a fan of FDR like Ronald Reagan was. I firmly believe that he caused many of the things he was called on to alleviate. But, however you look at it, he was the "great man" on the scene who was needed and who gave his all for his country. He died, no less than any soldier or marine or sailor, for his country. What amazes me is the story of Harry Hopkins, FDR's trusted "go to" man who carried out FDR's wishes with an amazing understanding of just what FDR was thinking when he ordered what he ordered. Hopkins was to FDR what Stonewall Jackson was to Robert E. Lee, his right hand and someone who thought his thoughts after him. I am surprised that no more histories are written about this man who died a very short time after his boss. FDR died before WW2 was over and Hopkins died just after, both of horrible longstanding diseases. One other thing of note in this book. Reading the transcriptions of Stalin's conversations with FDR and Hopkins it is clear that history is not as one sided as we would like to think. Some of Stalin's actions were justifiable and purely as a defensive measure for his country, things we would applaud in our own president. This is an amazing story and if you can get a copy of this book I recommend reading it. It really places The Cold War in a new light.
Posted by Frederick Widdowson