Sunday, April 27, 2008
Sunday Salon-Franklin and Lucy
This week I finished the ARC of Franklin and Lucy, President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life by Joseph E. Persico.
This is a 5 [***** ] star history book that reads like a novel. Persico is a master of interweaving quotations from other sources as he unravels Roosevelt's deceptive drama as president. Mrs. Paul Johnson was a frequent visitor at the White House, her real name was Lucy Rutherfurd. Lucy was FDR's forever love and Persico reveals the details of the strength and depth of the relationship in his book. Mrs. Roosevelt uncovered the affair when FDR was gravely ill and diagnosed with polio. He would never walk again. Eleanor discovered his packet of love letters and once he was able, she confronted him. Her terms were an immediate termination of the affair, no further contact with Lucy Rutherfurd and she would no longer share the same bed with him. Eleanor was devastated, but carried on by helping others, starting social programs and traveling the world as an embassador for positive change. They saw each other occasionally, but were for the most part married on paper, both living very prominent public positions, but separately.
Persico depicts Franklin as a larger than life ladies man. Yet, he was bound to a wheelchair for life. Refusing to allow the world to think less of him, that he was weak,(his thoughts, not the authors) he contrived braces, and a system of movement to hide his disability from the world. The excruciating persistent pain he carried on always with a smile. There are only two photographs that are know to be in existence of FDR in his wheelchair.
He had to be the center of attention when he was with women. His mother Sara controlled FDR his entire life. Although he had a lifetime affair with Lucy, she was not the only women of significance in his life. I won't spoil your fun reading this wonderful book. This bookworm has said enough...I need to nibble on another page. See ya next week....
The release date is April 29th. I highly recommend it.
PS: I still love and admire ER for her power, strength and social reform work. However, after reading Persico's book, I have a different opinion about Eleanor the woman. Tell me your opinion after you read Persico's book. Thanks. Happy Sunday!!