The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America

The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America

James MacGregor Burns, Susan Dunn

Language: English

Pages: 768

ISBN: 075676579X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Three Roosevelts is the extraordinary political biography of the intertwining lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who emerged from the closed society of New York's Knickerbocker elite to become the most prominent American political family of the twentieth century. As Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author James MacGregor Burns and acclaimed historian Susan Dunn follow the evolution of the Roosevelt political philosophy, they illuminate how Theodore's example of dynamic leadership would later inspire the careers of his distant cousin Franklin and his niece Eleanor, who together forged a progressive political legacy that reverberated throughout the world. Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt led America through some of the most turbulent times in its history. The Three Roosevelts takes readers on an exhilarating voyage through these tumultuous decades of our nation's past, and these momentous events are seen through the Roosevelts' eyes, their actions, and their passions. Insightful and authoritative, this is a fascinating portrait of three of America's greatest leaders, whose legacy is as controversial today as their vigorous brand of forward-looking politics was in their own lifetimes. "A remarkable example of narrative and biographical history at its best." -- Bruce Clayton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "No one has written more trenchantly about Franklin Roosevelt and American politics ... than James MacGregor Burns...." -- H. W. Brands, The Raleigh News & Observer "A detailed study.... Written with impeccable scholarship." -- Malinda Nash, Houston Chronicle

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the “Hurrah for Roosevelt” at every stop. In California he was reserved toward Senator William Gibbs McAdoo, merely referring to him as “my old friend,” without any encomium, even though McAdoo was a longtime on-again-off-again political ally, and even though McAdoo’s primary opponent was Sheridan Downey, a feared “radical” who had inherited the mantles of Dr. Townsend and Upton Sinclair by heading up a potent “$30 Every Thursday” movement. Good news came to the president on the Houston even

better let him stand at the White House gate.” In hundreds of cases, big and small, Eleanor followed her heart, believing that something should and could be done and she would be the one to do it. She had an unconquerable sense of responsibility, or, as she put it, “I had this horrible sense of obligation which was bred in me, I couldn’t help it. It was nothing to be proud of, it was just something I couldn’t help.” As a member of the privileged class that she herself blamed for the problems of

toward the end of the war did the army begin to alter its hard-line policy, as it ordered cases of discharged self-confessed homosexuals to be reviewed and their readmission to the army authorized. And then there were those who lost their freedom for good. By the end of 1943 the American death toll was averaging around 5,000 a month; a year later it was rising to between 12,000 and 18,000 GIs each month. Of the 16 million Americans serving in all branches of the armed forces, losses totaled 1

(née Hall) (ER’s mother) Hall, Edith (“Pussie”), 87 Hall, Edward, 87 Hall, Mary (née Ludlow), 150, 171 raising of ER, 86, 87, 88, 164 Hall, Maude, 87 Hall, Valentine, 87 Hamby, Alonzo, 506–7 Hamilton, Alexander, 135, 224 Hamilton, John D. M., 382 Hanna, Mark, 46, 52, 58, 59, 61, 69, 74, 98 Harbaugh, William, 95, 97, 102, 128, 147 Harding, Warren G., 161, 162, 170, 175 Harper’s, 563 Harper’s Weekly, 31, 52, 63–64 Harriman, Averill, 312, 546, 549 Harriman family, 18 Harrison,

unlit stairs to her parents’ tenement apartment. “My God,” an astonished Franklin blurted out after the experience, “I didn’t know anyone lived like that.” In New York City high society, she later observed, “you were kind to the poor, you did not neglect your philanthropic duties.” One accepted invitations to dine and to dance “with the right people only” and arranged one’s life to live in their midst. “In short, you conformed to the conventional pattern.” Oddly, that conventional pattern, of

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