November 15, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Young Mr. Roosevelt: FDR's Introduction to War, Politics, and Life

Young Mr. Roosevelt: FDR's Introduction to War, Politics, and Life

Stanley Weintraub

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0306821184

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In Young Mr. Roosevelt Stanley Weintraub evokes Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s political and wartime beginnings. An unpromising patrician playboy appointed assistant secretary of the Navy in 1913, Roosevelt learned quickly and rose to national visibility in World War I. Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1920, he lost the election but not his ambitions. While his stature was rising, his testy marriage to his cousin Eleanor was fraying amid scandal quietly covered up. Ever indomitable, even polio a year later would not suppress his inevitable ascent.

Against the backdrop of a reluctant America’s entry into a world war and FDR’s hawkish build-up of a modern navy, Washington’s gossip-ridden society, and the nation’s surging economy, Weintraub summons up the early influences on the young and enterprising nephew of his predecessor, “Uncle Ted.”

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trans. Laird M. Easton (New York: Knopf: 2011). Spring-Rice’s January 16, 1917, memo is quoted by David F. Trask in Captains and Cabinets: Anglo-American Naval Relations, 1917–1918 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1972). FDR’s junket to Haiti is described in all the Roosevelt biographies. Smedley Butler’s earlier career and postwar disillusionment are detailed in his War Is a Racket (New York: Round Table Press, 1935), and in Adam Parfrey, ed., War Is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by

often incompetent careerists to command a mushrooming conscript army and navy. That looming problem failed to concern administration planners. Neither did an amendment to the draft bill, with TR obviously in mind, empowering the President to create as many as four volunteer divisions outside conscription. The legislation, maneuvered by Henry Cabot Lodge, an obstinate Wilson enemy, but going forward under the name of an obscure senator from Ohio, Warren G. Harding, would not move the President.

reduced the number of explosives to be laid, the cost of the cumbersome operation would be enormous in terms of the time: $80,000,000. The auto industry would produce more than fifty thousand mines, each to be loaded with 300 pounds of explosives. A fleet of cargo ships transported 22,000,000 pounds of TNT, 50,000,000 feet of wire cable and the casings for a hundred thousand devices. Factories in Britain assembled thousands more. Although the mining began far less urgently than FDR wanted,

he confided that he would be happy to trade his vouchers for a Marine uniform. A private allegedly shouted, “I’ll swap you!” Returning with trunks of battlefield memorabilia and old histories from struggling German shops along the Rhine, Franklin arrived in Paris after midnight on February 9 to work on the remainder of naval business in France. (Livy Davis would recall only a strikingly beautiful but unfortunately married American lady he met while café-hopping.) While FDR completed his final

would crop up again after another world war, when Dwight Eisenhower, with no known political affiliation, was sought after, and President Harry Truman confided that he would not run in 1948 if the general would seek the office as a Democrat. (Deviously, Eisenhower—like Hoover, earlier—was already flirting with wealthy and influential Republicans.) Although Hoover publicly shied away from what he described as party “entanglements,” that ostensible aloofness concealed rising ambition. Roosevelt’s

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