A Dearth Of Heroes

In America the status of hero—durable, full-fledged hero—has been awarded to few men. The subtle, complex factors that have led us to be so selective were brilliantly described three decades ago m a book, The Hero in America , by historian Dixon Weder. For a reissue of this book, which will be published later this month by Charles Scribner’s Sons, novelist and poet Robert Penn Warren has written an introduction examining Mr. Wecter’s categories for glorification and speculating about who today—in this present age.Read more »

Full House At Yalta

Vodka at breakfast was only one of the minor problems when Russians entertained Americans

It was 5 P.M. on Sunday, the fourth of February, 1945. After seven months of dispatches and a month of frantic preparation by the Soviets, the Big Three conference at Yalta on the Black Sea was about to commence.Read more »

Miss Eleanor Roosevelt

“She is such a funny child, so old-fashioned, that we always call her ‘Granny’ “her mother said. Cousin Franklin felt otherwise

By no strange quirk of fate, no unlikely chance or mysterious destiny, were Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt brought together in casual acquaintanceship. Even had they been wholly without ties of blood and family tradition, unsharing of the same family name and distant ancestry, the strangeness would have been in their not meeting as they pursued their highly mobile physical lives within that small social world, close-knit and rigidly exclusive, which both of them inhabited. Read more »

The Paper Trust

To begin with, the Presidential libraries do not look like what they are. Each one is, in fact, a miniature Office of Public Records. And scholars who frequent such offices know that they are found in capital cities, in buildings that are heavy, ornamented, slowly discoloring monuments to bureaucrats dead and gone. The National Archives of the United States—America’s public records—are, to give one example, housed in an oversized Greek temple near the intersection of Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues in Washington, D.C. Read more »

The Retreat From Burma

In this final installment from our series on General Joseph W. Stilwell, Barbara W. Tuchman recounts the story of the old soldier’s finest hour

 
“I claim we got a hall of a beating”

The almost antique heroism and perseverance that Joseph W. Stilwell was to display in the grim, losing battle for Burma m 1942 is the subject of this, the last of a three-part series by Barbara W. Tuchman from her forthcoming book, now entitled Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 .Read more »

F.D.R: The Last Journey

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated for the fourth time, in January, 1945, twelve years of guiding the country through depression and war had sapped the strength of this vital and complex man. His health, which had been a major issue in the 1944 campaign, was the constant concern of his dedicated staff. Roosevelt himself, by this time, was thinking mostly of the problems of the coming peace. The following article is excerpted from James MacGregor Burns’s Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom , which will be published in September by Harcourt, Brace & World. This book, which follows the author ‘s earlier biography, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox , completes Mr. Burns’s distinguished and engrossing study of the thirty-second President of the United States. Several sentences from the earlier book are included m this excerpt. Among his sources, the author is especially indebted to Bernard Asbell ‘s When F. D. R. Died.

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The Place of Franklin D. Roosevelt in History

Seldom has an eminent man been more conscious of his place in history than was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He regarded history as an imposing drama and himself as a conspicuous actor. Again and again he carefully staged a historic scene: as when, going before Congress on December 8, 1941, to call for a recognition of war with Japan, he took pains to see that Mrs. Woodrow Wilson accompanied Mrs. Roosevelt to the Capitol, thus linking the First and Second World Wars.Read more »

The Colonel’s Dream Of Power

In a little-known novel President Wilson’s private adviser depicted a benevolent American dictator

The author of this political fantasy was as self-effacing as his hero: the work was published anonymously. “The authorship of Philip Dru: Administrator,” said the New York Times in January, 1913, “still remains a puzzle to those persons, not uncommon, who like to establish the association between a man and his work. Philip Dru is a real enigma …” In reality, the author of the enigma was one of the most remarkable men in American history—the man whom Woodrow Wilson once called “my second personality … my independent self“—Colonel Edward M. House of Texas.

F.D.R. Vs. The Supreme Court

Did the President, as he claimed, lose a battle but win a war in his attempt to pack the Supreme Court? Historical perspective suggests another answer

The great struggle between the President and the Supreme Court in 1937 stirred the national emotions to unusual depths because it brought Franklin D. Roosevelt’s crusade against depression into collision with one of our most hallowed traditions. And after a lapse of twenty years it remains high on the list of the most dramatic contests in our constitutional history.

 
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