MAJESTY AND MISCHIEF by William S. White

MAJESTY AND MISCHIEF

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The title provides the clue to a book that the author of The Taft Story (1954) has written. The subtitle- ""A Mixed Tribute to F.D.R.""- seems misleading for this has little of tribute and emerges as an attack on Roosevelt and a polemical assessment of his influence on the politics of his country. In White's opinion, Roosevelt was not the internationalist he was commonly acclaimed:- he distrusted Churchill, he distrusted England largely as a colonial power, and the other hand was incredibly naive about and Business expansionism. Roosevelt was a master politician who undermined the of his party and changed the nature of his office by his virtuosity. His personal, not party victories; when Roosevelt died, the right and left wings of his party split off, and Truman only won the 1948 election through Republican bungling. As President, F.D.R. had irrevocably altered the balance of power between the States and the Federal government; White thinks that the end of States Rights has sapped the responsibility of the country. Congress he treated with contempt, so that when Truman was suddenly elevated to the Presidency, Congress considered him and enemy rather than an honorable opponent. White argues that under Roosevelt's influence, the Presidency became a personal prize and parties ceased to be parties of principle -- Eisenhower's victories were the legacy of Roosevelt. Several other Rooseveltian 'influences' that White traces are similarly dubious. A skilled journalist has turned out a controversial, provocative but loosely argued book.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1961
ISBN: 116381119X
Publisher: McGraw-Hill