Title:                      Roosevelt in Retrospect

Author:                  John Gunther

Gunther, John (1950). Roosevelt in Retrospect, A Profile in History. New York, Harper

LOC:       50008078

E807 .G85

Date Posted:      April 13, 2013

The following is a KIRKUS REVIEW

John Gunther , the master of collecting, assessing and redistributing information turned his reportorial gifts to the personality and career of a figure who is already part of history. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Here is a dispassionate study, an intimate closeup of the man, of his relations with others, of his family, of his career, politically and professionally. It is an honest study, with due recognition of the rare genius of Roosevelt along with his weaknesses, his littlenesses, his beliefs, his likes and dislikes, his attitudes.

Gunther has a colloquial style, chatty, anecdotal, very personal. Possibly Frances Perkins’ The Roosevelt I Knew, though less comprehensive in coverage, comes to this sense of intimate knowledge, though the Gunther differs in that one is aware that he has arrived at his facts through years of study of the man, his achievements, his words, and through interviews with the people closest to him. Occasionally, there is almost a “gossip column” aspect to the material, but in the main one reads with a conviction that here is the man himself, with all his complexities, his charm, his warmth, his human frailties, and the smallnesses of his greatnesses. A mirror—rather than a critical portrait. Intensely good reading despite the familiarity of much of the material.

Books about Roosevelt are legion; this is not just another book, but one that makes the reader feel that the man lives in its pages.


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