The Hopkins Touch
Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler
- 16,99 €
- 16,99 €
Description de l’éditeur
The Hopkins Touch offers the first portrait in over two decades of the most powerful man in Roosevelt's administration.
David Roll shows how Harry Hopkins, an Iowa-born social worker who had been an integral part of the New Deal's implementation, became the linchpin in FDR's--and America's--relationships with Churchill and Stalin, and spoke with an authority second only to the president's. Gaunt, nearly spectral, and malnourished following an operation to remove part of his stomach, the newly widowed Hopkins accepted the president's invitation to move into the White House in 1940 and remained Roosevelt's closest advisor, speechwriter, sounding board, and friend nearly to the end. Between 1940 and 1945, with incomparable skill and indefatigable determination, Hopkins organized the Lend-Lease program and steered the president to prepare the public for war with Germany. He became FDR's problem-solver and fixer, helping to smooth over crises, such as when the British refused to allow an invasion of Europe in 1943, enraging Stalin, who felt that the Soviet Union was carrying the military effort against the Nazis. Lacking an official title or a clear executive branch portfolio, Hopkins could take the political risks his boss could not, and proved crucial to maintaining personal relations among the Big Three. Beloved by some--such as Churchill, who believed that Hopkins "always went to the root of the matter"--and trusted by most--including the paranoid Stalin--there were nevertheless those who resented the influence of "the White House Rasputin."
Based on newly available sources, The Hopkins Touch is an absorbing, substantial new work that offers a fresh perspective on the World War II era and the Allied leaders, through the life of the man who kept them on point until the war was won.
Roll makes the case in this lively book that Harry Hopkins was "arguably the most powerful presidential aide in the history of the American republic." Even if not, Hopkins surely acted as Franklin Roosevelt's alter ego, intimate, and sounding board for all of WWII. An emollient presence admired by both Churchill and Stalin, this frail and sickly man brought a natural prudence and impeccably balanced judgment to the advice he offered FDR and the duties he performed for him. Unjustifiably feared by those who didn't really know him as a kind of Rasputin to the president, as Roll makes clear, Hopkins was instead implementer of others' decisions as much as the source of ideas and advice. The author can't seem to make up his mind whether he's writing a biography, often overdetailed, of Hopkins during the war years when he actually lived much of the time in the White House or trying to illuminate, using interviews and freshly opened documents, the sources of WWII policy making. But there's no doubt that Roll, in his debut book, has added to WWII history by illuminating Hopkins's "indispensable behind-the-scenes role." 32 b&w illus.