Stanley Kutler: Review of Robert H. Jackson's "That Man: An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt" (edited by John Q. Barrett)





Mr. Kutler is the author of The Wars of Watergate.

FDR needs little introduction, and, at one time, neither did Robert H. Jackson, author of this recently discovered memoir. Jackson stood prominently as one of the most impressive of the extraordinary array of talent surrounding Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A native of western New York and a rare Democrat from the area, Jackson served in various Department of Justice positions, including distinguished tenures as solicitor general and attorney general. Jackson remained a key advisor throughout much of Roosevelt's 12-year presidency.

Former Supreme Court Justice Robert H. JacksonIn 1941, FDR appointed Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, where for the next 13 years he established a formidable reputation. He interrupted his judicial service with a two-year stint as chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Justice Jackson's court years generally are highly regarded; most constitutional and legal scholars warmly praise the polish, clarity and thoughtfulness of his opinions.

In 1943, in the midst of total war, Jackson spoke for the court when it struck down state-required recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation," Jackson memorably wrote, "it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein." Sadly, today his name usually is best remembered for spurning the efforts in 1953 of his then law clerk, now Chief Justice William J. Rehnquist, to maneuver him into upholding the court's 1896 decision in Plessy vs. Ferguson and the constitutionality of racial segregation.

When Roosevelt died in April 1945, his reputation was secure. He had etched his record as leader of the Allied coalition that defeated the ambitious, ruthless designs of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. While his New Deal administrations of the 1930s did not solve all the structural problems of the Great Depression, they established precedents for compassionate public intervention to help individuals cope with the ravages of economic calamity and to tame unbridled rapaciousness in the private sector. The Social Security legislation of 1935 perhaps offered the fullest expression of the Constitution's general welfare clause. Republicans came to power in Congress for two years following the war and, largely out of spite, enacted the 22nd Amendment limiting presidents to two terms--and, if nothing else, secured Roosevelt's uniqueness for winning four elections.

Roosevelt's death inspired a veritable flood of memoirs that told us more of the writer than of the president. Jackson, too, tried his hand, but the manuscript for "That Man: An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt" lay unfinished and unpolished for nearly 50 years. John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John's University in New York who is working on a biography of Jackson, found the manuscript among Jackson's papers, and he has carefully restored and enhanced the original. By skillfully weaving it with passages from Jackson's Columbia University oral history memoir, Barrett gives us a participant's point of view but one that now can be savored from a half-century's perspective. The result is a thoughtful, fresh, useful look at FDR. With powerful respect, even awe, for the man, Jackson nevertheless insisted on seeing him in a very human way filled with greatness, yet flawed like all of us. It's a memoiir that reflects the best of Jackson: candid, honest and tellingly expressed.

That Man, Jackson's impish title, was the derisive, derogatory and frustrating characterization of the president by many of his enemies during the heyday of the New Deal. Roosevelt remained immensely popular throughout his presidency, but his enemies were formidable and entrenched. They represented much of the wealthy and traditional power elites. The New Yorker published a memorable cartoon in which an older, formally clothed couple stand outside their neighbors' brownstone, urging them to come to the newsreel theater to "hiss Roosevelt." Yet, as if to signal the ultimate consensus on the New Deal, Republican journalist William Allen White memorably paid tribute to the president on the occasion of his death: "We who hate your gaudy guts, salute you."

Jackson believed he had borne witness to a unique personality, one that had presided over a special, transforming moment. Using the popular epitaph to evaluate the many sides of FDR, Jackson neatly turns it to the president's, and his, advantage:

"That Man in the White House": "I never knew any man to dominate him as there was no one to whom he would surrender his own judgment."

"That Man as Politician": "Roosevelt was never closed for business." He never bragged about resting and napping. "He liked to be President. I think he liked the Presidency better than any man I have known."

"That Man as Lawyer": "The President was not a legalistic-minded person. He was not an economic-minded person. He was a strong thinker in terms of right and wrong, for which he frequently went back to quotations from the Scriptures. Certain things just were not right in his view."

"That Man as Administrator": FDR was "not a good administrator"; he was "not a routine executive." He "liked nearly everybody," and he did not like face-to-face quarrels. He readily tolerated dissent: "I was quite free," Jackson recalled, "to voice my views."

Contemporary chroniclers set the tone for subsequent interpretations of history, which is, after all, not just what the present wishes to make of the past. We must judge the past on its own terms, its perception of its own purposes, not our own. If we allow the reality of the past to slip through our fingers, we lose a good deal of our identity and meaning. Abraham Lincoln firmly established his greatness and significance in his time. His tragic death spared him the consequences of dealing with the messy aftermath of the war, and he is reverently remembered as the Great Emancipator who saved the Union. Even so, his detractors, with their venomous, slanderous assaults ("The Great Baboon," "The Widow-Maker of the 19th Century"), leave us with much to consider in evaluating the man.

Americans consistently rank Lincoln as our greatest president, followed (in varying order) by John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and now George W. Bush. This speaks volumes about our understanding of "greatness," as well as our state of collective amnesia. It also says something about the pitiful state of our education and the dominance of contemporary celebrity culture. Today, historians fashionably emphasize the role of "memory." Rating presidents apparently is not a very revealing barometer of our civic consciousness; then again, one might say these judgments reveal it all too well.

Roosevelt was the only president to have evoked extreme reactions comparable to Lincoln. Yet historians rate FDR's achievements, appropriately, just below Lincoln's. The current popular choices of presidential greats pale into insignificance when their accomplishments are compared with FDR's.

Jackson saw FDR as "a great man," disciplined by illness and physical handicap. He never lost his courage, and he inspired others. Jackson realized that the ideas, events and institutions of FDR's time would fade, even diminish in scope and importance. Yet he knew that in the end, FDR's greatest contribution was forging the triumph of freedom in peace and in war against impersonal events and tyrannical, arbitrary forces. Another contemporary (briefly), Oliver Wendell Holmes, had it right when he summed up FDR as a second-rate intellect but with a first-rate temperament.

Fifty years after his death, Congress finally agreed upon a memorial to Roosevelt, although it is tucked away on the Potomac's Tidal Basin, removed from the flow of tourist traffic. Nevertheless, FDR has fared as well in history as he did in his own time. The legacy of the New Deal and its transforming effect on American society has been the fundamental political fact of the 20th century. Ironically, his New Deal coalition, now fragmented and dispersed, is a victim of its own success. The Okies, the sharecroppers of The Grapes of Wrath, have become prosperous ranchers. Their sons and daughters, who would have had no opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, have gone to college or vocational schools and live in suburbia. Workers' children, many of them of recent immigrant stock at the time, have had successful professional and business careers. Few now acknowledge that a beneficent government did and continues to make a difference in their families' daily lives.

FDR offered a ravaged, despairing nation leadership, hope and the promise of a better day. He delivered, and most of all, he affirmed a simple faith in the efficacy of democracy and freedom that elsewhere seemed to retreat in the face of economic depression or totalitarian ambitions. He fought depression and war to preserve them. And preserve them he did. Lincoln promised "a new birth of freedom," and Jackson eloquently reminds us that FDR made good on that promise, launching the United States on a path of unrivaled prosperity and power -- for better or worse.

 


This article was first puiblished in the LA Times and is reprinted with permission of the author.



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NYGuy - 12/5/2003

Cram,

The problem with the article is that no respectable newspaper or news media would publish it except for some small little newspaper in NE. In my opinion it was just another attempt to smear Bush and did not really add any new information except but a lot of unverified claims.

The smear Bush campaign however backfires since Harriman was basically the sole owner of the firm with a 97% ownership. So all the claims against Bush are phony since he was basically an employee and Harriman called the shots. However, this smear campaign was supported by the Holocaust victims who tried to politicize the Florida elections.

I believe I showed in my posts that this was a bogus story and one that has been propagated over the years.

However, since the story was verified as a piece of history and published on HNN I have to go along with the judgement of the experts.

As I always told my children "always learn the rules of the game before you begin to play." So I am only playing by the rules.

I appreciate you honest attempt to understand the truth and that is why I am sending this clarification.

Cheers,

Keep your light buring.


Cram - 12/5/2003

NYGuy,
Thank you for the article. I know the HNN piece focused more on Prescot Bush then anything else, but I know that dealings with the Nazis was prevelant in almost every country at this time.

I agree 100% with your analysis. I know on a personal level, my opinion of FDR would change if there was evidence that he engaged in profeteering with the Nazis. I already fault him for not doing enough to help victims of the Holocaust, I would hate to add another Nazi allegation to his legacy. However, your information is forcing me to confront this new aqusation, and I thank you for that.


HOWARD N MEYER - 12/5/2003

Paragraph 4
should read:
"The ICJ [ie not icc as typed] 'judges among the nations' and has nothing to do with individual criminals............."

(That typo may have created confusion as to my meaning. SORRY)


NYGuy - 12/5/2003

Thank you for your reasoned reply. As you may know HNN recently posted a significant article about Harriman's firm and how they supported and brought Hitler to power which is based upon new information that they say has been declassified in the National Archives.

According to the article there is now proof supporting the accusations that Harriman supported Hitler and helped bring him to power. The President of a Holocaust chapter in Florida was shocked to learn of these new revelations and was quoted as such in the newspapers. There are now those who are demanding a full investigation of Roosevelt and the Democrats.

Here is a link that shows the close relationship between Harriman and Roosevelt.

The son of a wealthy railroad magnate, Harriman initially made his name as chairman of the board of the Union Pacific Railroad. One of the few business leaders to support President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal, " Harriman served as the administrator of the National Industrial Recovery Administration (NRA). He soon became one of Roosevelt's closest advisors and confidants. In March, 1941, Harriman traveled to London to help with the negotiations for the Lend Lease program. That September, he represented the U.S. at a joint meeting with British and Russian leaders in Moscow. In 1943, Harriman was appointed American ambassador to the Soviet Union, a post he retained until 1946.

http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/text/x09/xr0982.html

My only point is that HNN has published a major article on new information that is now being declassified about Harriman’s companies and how they supported and profiteered off Hitler and the Nazis. I am only telling you what I read on HNN. If new information is becoming available that links Harriman, Roosevelt’s close advisor and a major financial contributor to the Democratic party, then I believe the author should have pointed it out in this article. After all he mentions Roosevelt’s ranking as a President, but this new information that HNN says has just now become available may well change how we look at Roosevelt’s administration as we can now review the profiteering actions of his advisors with the Nazis. Seems to me that Roosevelt’s legacy could come in for a major overhaul. That is what HNN is about bringing current events to the attention of the readers.


steve - 12/5/2003

dear greg,
i may have given you the wrong name for chambers book. i believe i said the name of the book was "perjury". it might be named "witness", although there is a book called perjury , by another author that is pretty much the same story.


Bob - 12/5/2003

I didn't say FDR wouldn't have been an important president if it weren't for the war. I said he would be remembered more as his Republican cousin is. As a reformer and a significant president but not in the top three or four. Compare the presidency before and after Teddy Roosevelt. Hell, Teddy created the "bully pulpit."


Jerry West - 12/5/2003

-
Cram wrote:

First of, the United States never ratified the ICC (International Criminal Court) treaty and therfore, there is NO compulsary jurisdiction at all. He, and others, have been against joining the ICC because it would effectively put American troops under the jurisdiction of an international body that has proven itself to be just as partisan, political, and self-interested as anything.

JW:

Oops. The ICC hasn't had much time to prove itself anything as it has just recently been established and is still getting organized.

Reagan had nothing to do with it. The US signed on at the begining, then GWB got scared and pulled us out.

Such undemocratic, uncivilized, terrorist nations like Canada are strong supporters.

Americans may still be subject to the law if they go into countries that are signatories unless there is a side agreement with the US not to prosecute US citizens accused of crimes.


Cram - 12/5/2003

Thank you NYGuy, I found your information informative and interesting.

I know I am going to sound like an apologist, but here are problems linking FDR to the Nazis:
1) Hitler was extremely popular in the West once he came to power and restored the German economy, and was Time magazines man of the year in 1933 (even had his cover on Time magazine). His racial policies did not come out until the late 1930's.

2) FDR's entire character is inconsistant with helping Hitler in any way... for one thing, he had no reason to aid Hitler for anything since the country was in the middle of the great depression and the USA had to discontinue its loans to Germany (which led to a default on its WWI reparations to France and England).

3) Not only was FDR NOT an anti-Semite, but he surely would have appriciated the fact that, as a polio victim, he would have been executied in Germany's euthanasia program in the mid- 1930's.

FDR's greatest failure was in doing nothing to help the Jews before and during WWII, despite full knowledge of what was happening. He refused to blow up the gas chambers and set q quota on Jewish immigation, ensuring more deaths. This is a failure that will tarnish his legacy just as surely as the Japanese internment camps will.

Nevertheless, I find it rather inconsistant with everything that I have read of him to believe that he actively helped Hitler come to power.

Perhaps he did, I do not exclude it as a possibility, but I have to doubt it, despite bhis relationship with someone who did (Harriman).


NYGuy - 12/5/2003

Cram,

This is what I found on the web.
Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Harriman as U.S. Ambassador of the Soviet Union in 1943. He held the post until 1946 when Harry S. Truman appointed him as Secretary of Commerce. Harriman worked on the Marshall Plan and served as national security adviser during the Korean War.
A member of the Democratic Party Harriman was elected governor of New York in 1954. After two unsuccessful attempts to become the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956 Harriman served in several posts under President John F. Kennedy.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAharrimanA.htm
“But, what you had: Harriman was a powerful influence in the Democratic Party. And Harriman was the same Harriman, who acted to put Hitler into power in Germany in 1933; who, together with the former head of the Bank of England, funded Hitler's being put into power.

http://larouchein2004.net/pages/questions/youth/021130cop009.htm
NYGuy,
There are many articles accusing the firms in which Harriman was the major partner as putting Hitler in power, supporting Hitler’s war effort and trading with enemy.

It is also a well know fact that Harriman and Roosevelt were great buddies as Harriman was a big businessman contributor to the Democratic party similar to Soros today.

This is just a small part of the many articles that talk about Roosevelt, Harriman and Hitler.


HOWARD N MEYER - 12/4/2003

Its bad enough when lazy headline writers confuse the true World Court (International Court of Justice) with the not-yet-functioning ICC (International Criminal Court).
Historians should know better!
Woeful ignorance is shown when the Nicaragua case of 1984-6 is discussed as if it involved a criminal court matter.
The ICC "judges Among the nation" and has nothing to do with individual criminals such as Eliot Abrams, Poindexter, North and the like.
That said, the comment is shown not to make sense.
The saddest deficiency among historians is their lack of knowledge or familiarity with the goods and bads of what the U.S. has done in its relations with the rest of the community of nations.
If our historians do not know the difference between right and wrong, what we committed ourselves as a nation to do -- and then has not done -- how can we expect the media or the public to know anyh better. The history of our foreign relations, for better or worse, is part of our heritage, our American History, but it is awfully difficult to get "trained" historians to understand and accept this and teach accordingly.
THE WORLD COURT IN ACTION, subtitled "Judging Among the Nations"
covers what someone onse called the "null" curriculum: i.e. what is NOT taught in schools tells much about the merits of the schools and their teachers.


Cram - 12/4/2003

"Hasn't been proved several times on this board that Roosevelt's best friend was the multi-millionaire Harriman who controlled and was the largest partner in BBH."

I have never seen any evidence suggesting that FDR was best friends with Harriman, or that he knew about Harriman's dealings. That is not to say that such evidence does not exist, simply that I have never seen it.


NYGuy - 12/4/2003

Hasn't been proved several times on this board that Roosevelt's best friend was the multi-millionaire Harriman who controlled and was the largest partner in BBH. Many articles on HNN claim that Roosevel'ts friend Harriman was dealing with Nazis since 1919 and helped finance Hitler.

Are we now being told that the President didn't know.

I would like to know the answer particularly since we are told that new evidence has been unearthed about the Nazis connection.


Greg Koos - 12/4/2003

Hi Steve,
I've meant to read Chamber's book - but haven't yet. McCarthy wasn't looking for communists, he was looking for headlines. The basic failure of the 1950s McCarty-based inquisition was that resources were put into harrassing members of the American Communist Party. Soviet spies,of course, never joined - a bit too obvious.
Greg


Cram - 12/4/2003

Mr. Meyer,
A few points I have to disagree with:
1) "Reagan followed the... trail by attempting to withdraw from the present Court's compulsory jurisdiction because he knew we would be found guilty of aggresion against Nicaragua."

First of, the United States never ratified the ICC (International Criminal Court) treaty and therfore, there is NO compulsary jurisdiction at all. He, and others, have been against joining the ICC because it would effectively put American troops under the jurisdiction of an international body that has proven itself to be just as partisan, political, and self-interested as anything.

2) "Those who try to catalog "why do they hate us?" should give more attention than they have to the rejection by U S administrations of the Rule of Law in international affairs."

International law is broken regularly when it comes to war and peace by many nations (see Iran, N. Korea, China, and so on and so on). However, regarding the ICC, it is NOT law. No treaty is legally binding on the United States until it is ratified by the Senate. You may disagree with our refusal to join, but there is nothing illegal about it.


HOWARD N MEYER - 12/4/2003

One initiative, often overlooked, was FDR's effort to win Senate acceptance of participation in the first World Court, the Permanent Court of International Justice, predecessor of the present International Court of Justice. His effort was thwarted by the unholy combination of the Hearst Press and "premature fascist" Fr. Charles Coughlin.
Not long after the Senate defeat produced by these despicable characters, the Nazis, having gotten the message that America turned its back to the Rule of Law in the world, marched into the Rhineland, the first step toward world war II.
Roosevelt took the fight to the Senate because of his courage despite failure or indifference by Harding ,Coolidge and Hoover.
Reagan followed the Coughlin-Hearst trail by attempting to withdraw from the present Court's compulsory jurisdiction because he knew we would be found guilty of aggresion against Nicaragua.He achieved that withdrawal after losing the first phase of that case. His successors lacked the guts to cancel what he did by returning to the Court's compulsory jurisdiction.
Those who try to catalog "why do they hate us?" should give more attention than they have to the rejection by U S administrations of the Rule of Law in international affairs.
for further detail see THE WORLD COURT IN ACTION,a book the establishment press has refrained from reviewing.


Cram - 12/4/2003

Bob,
I can understand your concern about fawning, I complain myself about President Reagan's supports at times.

However, you say "FDR ranks among our great presidents because, for better or worse, he took us into WWII, and we won it. And we emerged as the dominant world power."

Although WWII was a defining moment for the country, had he dies before the war, he would still have gone down in history as one of the most important Pres. He reorganized the entire executive department, completely transformed the role of the President, as well as the role of the entire federal government. If you look at the power and authority of the federal government in people's lives under Hoover and compare it to what it was under Eisonhower, you can see how influencial FDR has been to the United States.


Cram - 12/4/2003

Steve,
1) Hiss:
It is a fact that Hiss, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and secretary for Supreme Court Justice Holmes, received a telegram from Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, saying the country needed him. The telegram urged him to join the New Deal as an attorney with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, a program set up by FDR to help farmers who had been hurt by the Depression. After a short but very successful carreer in government, he was convicted for spying. There is no evidence to indicate that any of his colleagues or suppiriors knew, and Hiss maintained his innocence until the day he dies.

2)McCarthy:
This man has been universally discredited since 1954, when his accusation of the MILITARY for being communist was challenged by President Eisonhower. McCarthy was consured (only the 3rd Senator to be so in 165 years) and his reputation ruined. Of the hundreds of communists that he claimes were working for the government, only a handful were ever serriously questioned.
http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/60.htm

The Red Scare was a witch hunt that ruined the lives of many good Americans. History has aknowledged McCarthy's insanity, and rightfully so.

I hope that answers some of your concerns.


steve - 12/4/2003

dear cram,
im just trying to learn here. are you telling me that the roosevelt administration was not loaded with communist agents? the testimony of w chambers, and the work of sen mccarthy meant nothing? i though it was fact that men like a. hiss, h.d. white. etc., i can name a dozen, were all shown to be members of the communist party.


steve - 12/4/2003

dear derek,
you say there was no link between chambers, hiss and f.d.r.. isnt it true that there were constant allegations that hiss was working for the communist party? this was ignored and laughed off by f.d.r himself. than there was chambers, an actual member of the party himself who was willing to testify. then finally, many years later, in what they called the venonoa papers or project, i believe, it was proven, beyond a doubt, that chambers and all the other accusers were right, and that alger hiss was an incredible liar. hiss had a big position in the roosevelt administration. same thing with h.d. white, without a doubt a member of the party. white was a member of roosevelts treasury dept. roosevelts people were constantly be told about the suspicious activities of white by j.e hoover himself. also men like solomon adler,h.hopkins,d.lee all were involved withf.d.r. i find that incredible.


steve - 12/4/2003

dear greg,
i ll check out the "chasing spies" book you suggested, but are you telling me that the testimony of w chambers, and sen mccarthy isnt proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the truman and roosevelt administration was filled with soviet spies? chambers was an incredibly honest and cooperative man, who was an actual member of the communist party. alger hiss was an incredible liar. i dont know if i mentioned or if you are aware of chambers book, i believe the title was "perjury".
i wasnt promoting a coulters books, but they are good for references in our conversation.


Bob - 12/4/2003

I can understand someone who worked with FDR writing a fawning history of that administration, but a fawning review of a fawning book is just too much to take.

The children of the Okies and all the children ofimmigrants owe their success to good old FDR. Please! As if their were no successful immigrants before the Roosevelt Administration. It had nothing to do with their own hard work or education. How on earth did Lincoln make it without FDR around?

FDR ranks among our great presidents because, for better or worse, he took us into WWII, and we won it. And we emerged as the dominant world power. Had he quit after two terms, he still would be remembered as an important president but more like his Republican cousin who was also a social reformer. He certainly didn't get us out of the depression. It lasted longer in this country than anywhere else.


Cram - 12/3/2003

Steve,
1) "there is certainly reason to question the loyalty of f.d.r."

Are you suggesting that Roosevelt was some kind of Soviet spy who managed to born into a prominant American family, get elected to President, all simply to form an allience based on neccessity with Russia?!?
2) "as far as pearl harbor, the only suprise would have been if the japanese didnt attack! remember japan was at war with china. (red china, communist china) roosevelt had cut off their oil and the logical place to get it would be the south pacific. so you see whose side he was on there."

Uhhhhh, China was no communist at this time, friend. Meo was not in power yet. Check your history and you will find that while intelligence hinted at a possible attack, no one knew where or when and at the same time, FDR was working on peace negociations with Japan.

3) "the sole purpose of the nazi party was to fight communism. that was why the party was created. you know who fdr sided with."

The purpose of the Nazi party was the abrogate the Versailles treaty, to rid Germany of all non-Aryans, and to annex Eastern Europe and in so doing, destroy the Soviet Union, which Hitler believed was a Jewish state. Again, check your history.

4) "an alliance is one thing. we had an alliance with organized crime. but we didnt pack the us government with known members of organzed crime. we had an (alliance?) with the communists, when our government was loaded with known commies, an alliance with "uncle joe"? i dont think so!"

Once again, check history, when Germnay decalred war on us, they were already at war with Russia, thus making Russia our de facto ally. As for having communists in government as some conspiratorial plan, I really don't know where that came from, but I know of no credible historian who has ever published anytihng suggesting that FDR planted communists all over the government.


Greg koos - 12/3/2003

Steve,
The problem with historical work is that it is not based on what one might wish to believe. Such inquiries are based upon what can be proven and demonstrated by orginal and rigorous research and analysis. Both these factors are missing from what's-her-face's book.

Try reading Athan Theoharis's book, "Chasing Spies" - he shows how this kind of work is done.

Greg


Derek Catsam - 12/3/2003

Steve --
Beyond your aspparent inability to use capital letters and be coherent, any of the vacuous allegations that FDR had any idea about Pearl Harbor have been shot down ages ago, and the most recent book to allege as much got absolutely savaged by respectable military historians. You also do realize that the Nazis had an alliance with the Soviet Union? As for Alger Hiss and Whitaker Chambers -- no link whatsoever with FDR. None. Conflation of irrelevent issues plus bad writing plus inability to adhere to punctuation does not a case make. My God, I can't believe I am dealing with such sophomoric idiocy. Stop me before I do it again. Then again, silly me, I feel a responsibility to history.
dc


steve - 12/3/2003

with men like whittaker chambers, and sen mc carthy, along with others, there is certainly reason to question the loyalty of f.d.r.. as far as pearl harbor, the only suprise would have been if the japanese didnt attack! remember japan was at war with china. (red china, communist china) roosevelt had cut off their oil and the logical place to get it would be the south pacific. so you see whose side he was on there.
the sole purpose of the nazi party was to fight communism. that was why the party was created. you know who fdr sided with.
as far as an alliance. an alliance is one thing. we had an alliance with organized crime. but we didnt pack the us government with known members of organzed crime. we had an (alliance?) with the communists, when our government was loaded with known commies, an alliance with "uncle joe"? i dont think so!


steve - 12/3/2003

dear greg,
is it not true that alger hiss one of fdr key men was a communist spy? the same for harry dexter white. see ann coulters books, "slander" and "treason" for more info and references. is it not true, that just like sen. mccarthy said the roosevelt adminstration was infested with known communists.if your familiar with the venona project, this was a military project, that was kept from truman and roosevelt (commanders in chief) because they couldnt be trusted!
could you imagine the bush or clinton administrations being loaded with (al quaida?sic?) and than have them trying to tell people they are anti terrorism! and referring to bin laden as uncle bin!


Cram - 12/2/2003

An excellent article.
FDR remains one of the greatest Presidents in American history. However, like many historical events and personalities, their contribution is often replaced with revisionism in time.

Just as some believe FDR knew about Pearl Harbor, I have no doubt that some believe that Bush knew about 9/11 before the attacks.

Just as some forget the reality that America was allied with Russia to defeat the Nazis, future pundits might forget that we allied with Saudi Arabia and Syria to fight the Taliban.

Just as some will accuse Roosevelt of tricking us into WWII, so too do people even today accuse Bush (and others) of tricking the nation into war with Afghanistan or accuse Johnson of killing Kennedy.

Historians must fairly judge FDR based on the standards of his time, not ours. To be sure he was not perfect, attempting to pack the Supreme Court and interning Japanese Americans will forever remain blemishes on his record. However, his extraordinary contribution to the office of the Presidency as well as to the development of the United States will forever be remembered as the single greatest contribution to the country in the 20th century, and perhaps all of American history.


Kent Hartmann - 12/2/2003

FDR was the only patrician - he called Stalin "Uncle Joe," not "papa."


Greg Koos - 12/2/2003

Please tell us more, perhaps the site would run a longer treatment of these issues which you raise. I certainly want to know more about FDR as a communist dupe, traitor, trickster, conspirator, and all around baddie.

These accusations certainly deserve more development


steve - 12/2/2003

f.d.r. a great man. what about his knowledge of pearl harbor? what about all the known communist he was associated with, alger hiss, harry dexter white,to name a few? what about his trickery to get us involved in ww2? what about his conspiring with churchill,which was treason without a doubt? and what about so many respectful people who simply despised him, were they all wrong? what about his association with stalin, the biggest mass murderer in history, whom he loved and associated with and called papa joe?


steve - 12/2/2003

f.d.r. a great man. what about his knowledge of pearl harbor? what about all the known communist he was associated with, alger hiss, harry dexter white,to name a few? what about his trickery to get us involved in ww2? what about his conspiring with churchill,which was treason without a doubt? and what about so many respectful people who simply despised him, were they all wrong? what about his association with stalin, the biggest mass murderer in history, whom he loved and associated with and called papa joe?

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