Franklin and Lucy
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 19 Feb 2013
Full Title: Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life
Franklin Roosevelt, a leading figure not as an American leader but a man of the world stage, had been studied in various perspectives. His relationships with figures of other importance, whether it was Winston Churchill or Averell Harriman, tended to be the main topics of discussion. His relationships with women, in contrast, were much less talked about. In Franklin and Lucy, author Joseph Persico stood the stance that the women in his life played equally important roles in shaping this international politician. Sara Delano Roosevelt, his mother, undoubtedly shaped the future US President's confident character. Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife, was perhaps more so a colleague with whom he received support from and provided opportunities to. Lucy Rutherfurd, possibly the love of his life, became the trusted confidant whom he could shed the burden of a world leader and simply be himself. Marguerite "Missy" Lehand, who devoted herself to him unquestioningly, fulfilled his constant need to be admired by members of the opposite gender. Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, Dorothy Schiff, Ana Roosevelt, whom all made Roosevelt into the man he was, good characteristics and bad, also made their appearances in Persico's work.
Eleanor Roosevelt's personal affairs occupied a significant portion in this book as well. While she dutifully reared many children with him, she also used his stature and connections to grow her own career, while she carried on relationships outside of the marriage as well; Lorena Hickok and Earl Miller both appeared in this book's cast of characters as well.
I had reviewed this book in its audio book format. Ted Barker did a fine job with the reading.
Especially when dealing with leadership figures, history tended to favor the inspirational and the glorious. Franklin and Lucy dove into the subjects that prior generations were more than happy to turn a blind eye. This book would very much be considered off-topic in terms of the history of WW2; in fact, Churchill's name, for example, appeared barely a handful of times in these pages. This book, nevertheless, provided a different perspective on a man whose very action shaped the highest levels of the war, and perhaps even the political landscape of the post-war era after his death.
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