Franklin and Lucy

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-05-12
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
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In Franklin and Lucy, acclaimed author and historian Joseph E. Persico explores FDR's romance with Lucy Rutherfurd. Persico's provocative conclusions about their relationship are informed by a revealing range of sources, including never-before-published letters and documents from Lucy Rutherfurd's estate that attest to the intensity of the affair, which lasted much longer than was previously acknowledged. FDR's connection with Lucy also creates an opportunity for Persico to take a more penetrating look at the other women in FDR's life. We come to see more clearly how FDR's infidelity contributed to Eleanor Roosevelt's eventual transformation from a repressed Victorian to perhaps the greatest American woman of her century; how FDR's strong-willed mother helped to strengthen his resolve in overcoming personal and public adversity; and how both paramours and platonic friends completed the world that FDR inhabited. In focusing on Lucy Rutherfurd and the other women who mattered to Roosevelt, Persico renders the most intimate portrait yet of an enigmatic giant of American history.

Author Biography

Joseph E. Persico is the author of Roosevelt’s Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage; Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918–World War I and Its Violent Climax; Piercing the Reich; and Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, which was made into a television docudrama. He also collaborated with Colin Powell on his autobiography, My American Journey. He lives in Guilderland, New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Scarlet Lettersp. 3
Master Franklinp. 12
Poor Little Rich Girlp. 22
From Riches To Ragsp. 28
A Harvard Manp. 32
Courtshipp. 47
Mr. And Mrs. Franklin D. Rooseveltp. 60
"Dearest Mummy"p. 67
Patrician Politicianp. 73
The Social Secretaryp. 79
Every Man Who Knew Her Fell In Lovep. 87
The Extra Womanp. 94
Inhibitions Snap Like Cobwebsp. 110
The Homecomingp. 117
The Stormp. 122
The Advantage of Adversityp. 131
A Brilliant Marriagep. 136
The Diagnosisp. 146
Missyp. 157
Safe Harborp. 167
Eleanor and Friendsp. 173
Governor Rooseveltp. 179
Eleanor and The State Trooperp. 189
Eleanor And Hickp. 200
"Close To Being A Wife"p. 215
Four More Yearsp. 227
Exit Hickok: Enter Schiffp. 236
1941: Year of Gain, Year Of Lossp. 247
Missy Protected, Lucy Indulged, Eleanor Outragedp. 266
A Distant Cousin, A Cherished Daughterp. 280
Anna's Dilemmap. 294
"Mother Was Not Capable of Giving Him This"p. 307
"We Must Speak In Riddles"p. 320
The Death Of A Presidentp. 328
Letters Lost And Foundp. 348
"Lucy Was Father's Emotion for Life"p. 354
First Lady of The Worldp. 357
A Judgmentp. 365
Acknowledgmentsp. 371
Notesp. 373
Bibliographyp. 411
Indexp. 417
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 1
He belonged in uniform. His country was at war. He was thirty-six years old and bursting with vitality. Before going to work in the morning at the Navy Department he often played a round of golf. On weekends, he rarely got in less than thirty-six holes. During the week he worked out with Walter Camp, the football coach and fitness enthusiast. Lathrop Brown, his Harvard roommate, was serving in the new tank corps. Harry Hooker, his former law partner, was now Major Hooker, on the staff of the 53rd Division American Expeditionary Forces. Another law partner and Harvard pal, Langdon Marvin, was driving an ambulance in France with the Red Cross. His four distant cousins, Archibald, Kermit, Theodore Jr., and Quentin, sons of Franklin’s idol, former President Theodore Roosevelt, had all enlisted. The exploits of TR’s boys filled the newspapers, arousing in Franklin competing emotions of pride and envy. Even his nearsighted brother-in-law, Hall Roosevelt, had volunteered.

On the very day that war had been declared, April 6, 1917, the Roosevelt clan gathered at the home of TR’s married daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth. There the former commander-in-chief seized Franklin by the shoulders, fixed him with his myopic gaze, and pleaded with him to resign as assistant secretary of the navy. “You must get into uniform at once,” TR urged. “You must get in.”

Franklin was all too willing. Patriotism was the main reason, but politics intruded as well. In 1898, when America had gone to war against Spain over Cuba, TR had resigned from the very Navy post Franklin now held. He had formed his own regiment, the Rough Riders. He had worn the uniform, known war, and subsequently reached the political pinnacle. TR’s trajectory was not lost on his ambitious young relative. Franklin’s chief, Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels, easily detected the parallels. “Theodore left the position of assistant secretary to become a Rough Rider, later Governor of New York and then President, and both had served in the legislature of New York,” Daniels noted. “Franklin actually thought fighting in the War was the necessary step toward reaching the White House.” Franklin’s mother, Sara, had recently written her son, “The papers say buttons and pictures of you are being prepared to run for Governor.” But Franklin preferred to take TR’s route, military service first.

Theodore Roosevelt, now fifty-nine, blind in one eye, partially deaf, his body racked by punishing expeditions into the disease-infested Brazilian jungle, was itching to answer his country’s call again. He hoped to raise a volunteer division just as he had raised a regiment in the earlier war. He pleaded with Franklin to get him an appointment with President Woodrow Wilson. This request could prove ticklish. Ever since TR, as a third-party candidate, had been beaten by Wilson five years before in the 1912 presidential election, he had been lambasting the winner for everything from woolly-headedness to cowardice for not getting America into the European war sooner. Nevertheless, the day after the Roosevelt gathering at cousin Alice’s house, Franklin did go to the secretary of war, Newton Baker, and persuade him to intervene with Wilson on TR’s behalf. The president would later say of meeting with his old foe, “I was charmed by his personality . . . you can’t resist the man.” Evidently he was able to resist, since he told Baker afterward, “I really think the best way to treat Mr. Roosevelt is to take no notice of him.” TR was baffled by Wilson’s failure to seize upon his heartfelt offer. As he left the White House with Wilson’s confidant, Colonel Edward M. House, he complained, “I don’t understand. After all, I’m only asking to be allowed to die,” to which House reportedly resp

Excerpted from Franklin and Lucy: Mrs. Rutherfurd and the Other Remarkable Women in Roosevelt's Life by Joseph Persico
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