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Imaginative nonsense--vividly fleshed out. In 1935 President Roosevelt and his mistress-secretary, Missy LeHand, go to Warm Springs where the President is visited by a great British polio specialist, who abuses the President's hospitality by surreptitiously shooting up a roll of film of the lovers necking. Five years later, the doctor, back in London, is seen to be a dupe for the British Nazis who are working secretly to defeat Roosevelt's hopes of bringing the U.S. into the war. If the Naris reveal the film of Presidential naughtiness in their possession, they can explode Roosevelt's plan to run for a third term. A White House security agent, not on good terms with the F.B.I., gets wind of this plot and tries to buy the negatives from the British doctor. But the sale falls through, the doctor hangs himself, and the negatives disappear. Soon they are crossing the Atlantic, hidden on the person of Sir Roland Plenty, a top British Nazi working for the disgusting psychopathic genius who heads the Nazi fifth column in the States, Reinhard Heydrich, who (unbeknownst to Sir Roland) has secretly and often violated Sir Roland's daughter, driving her to suicide. Sir Roland is on his way to Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, to get Ford to publish the pictures in his newspaper. Meanwhile, we watch Lindbergh address the America First rallies and are washed alternately by isolationist and pro-German sentiments, while FDR bites his nails in the Oval Office, well aware that his agent is after the negatives. A shoot-'em-up climax is capped by an ironic scene with Roosevelt counter-blackmailing J. Edgar Hoover. Ignore the pseudo-historical premises and you'll enjoy the Hitchcockian spirit of the telling.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam