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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance by Michael Beschloss

(President Roosevelt, Wikipedia)

When Roosevelt's son told his father, the President, that Joseph Kennedy wanted to go to the Court of Saint James, he saw him almost topple from his wheelchair from laughing! However, Kennedy got his way, as he usually did.

This book is an excellent study of the strange relationship between these two powerful men who had different and opposing ideas of leadership and public service. Kennedy was ultimately conservative and practical, disliking too much taxation and extension of government powers, while Roosevelt was the opposite. Their contradictions came to a head when Kennedy became the Ambassador to Britain, started asserting his ideas about appeasement and undermining the President on the side in a misguided campaign to run for power himself. Before this, Kennedy and Roosevelt shared a strange friendship and got on well. Roosevelt even put the former speculator and bootlegger in charge of policing Wall Street, which Louis Howe stated was 'like setting a cat to guard the pigeons'.

It's an interesting book by historian Michael Beschloss but very serious. I must admit to preferring The Gatekeeper, about Roosevelt's private secretary, which was easier reading.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

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