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One test of the stature of Roosevelt in the immense vitality of every facet revealed in the books written by those closest to him. Judge Rosenman's book is no exception. In the main, the ground covered in familiar to anyone who has read Sherwood, Perkins, Byrnes, Farley, and the President's own papers. But the approach this time is through the processes of ""working with Roosevelt"" on his speeches. The Judge was part of that team from the campaign for Governor through to Roosevelt's death, and he shows not only the meticulously detailed building of form from the substance -- but the President's own intimate part in every phase of the process, his genius for putting the stamp of his personality on both text and presentation, of using this genius to project himself into the awareness of his listeners so that they accepted him on their own level. The thread of the speeches and their creation links together step after step in a dramatic era. The people who crossed the stage; the events that highlighted the passing months and years; the campaigns, successes, failures. Rosenman says that this is ""a partisan book written by one who believes that Franklin D. Roosevelt, with all his faults, ranked with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln as one of our greatest Presidents, and that he was a very great human being besides"". As one reads, one is persuaded of the validity of his claim. The book has some news value in a fresh interpretation of controversial phases of Roosevelt's administrations. But its chief value lies in a further revelation of the man and the processes of his thinking.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1952
Publisher: Harper