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Tugwell was part of Roosevelt's original ""brain trust"". At the time of Roosevelt's death he was governor of Puerto Rico. He knew Roosevelt in his many faceted personality, and while he recognizes the contradictions, the deliberate reserves, he still feels that his was not the complex personality generally accorded him. Where Burns' The Lion and the Fox was a brilliant political biography, where Schlesinger's The Crisis of the Old Order presented the Roosevelt era as compellingly important historically, and used the biographical circumstances of its central figure as exemplifications, Tugwell, in his book, attempts what is primarily a psychological study of the second Roosevelt, weighing the evidence- pro and con- and seeking to explore the phenomenon of his failures as well as his achievements. In his many aspects as son, husband, father, political aspirant, campaigner, incumbent, international figure, idealist, realist, Roosevelt comes through. Tugwell's interpretation is at times controversial; Tugwell's selection of ""evidence"" and the conclusions he draws therefrom may be in question. It will be years, probably, before there can be a final estimate, but this book is a valuable synthesis, and brings together many factors that lend to its objectivity. That Tugwell has done this with his some in mind- both of them in their teens-gives one pause, for it is not a whole biography, though it covers the full span of Roosevelt's life, nor does it capture the flavor of the changing times, the vital issues beyond the immediate periphery. It seems- to this reader- to demand more background for interest and understanding than the average youth of today can supply.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1957
Publisher: Doubleday