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Persico, Joseph E. Franklin & Lucy; President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the other remarkable women in his life.

PERSICO, Joseph E. Franklin & Lucy; President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the other remarkable women in his life. Read by Ted Barker. 14 cds. 17 hrs. Books on Tape. 2008. 978-1-4159-5001-2. $129.00. Vinyl; content notes. A

This fascinating and revealing account of the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the women who surrounded him introduces the listener to the private life of this man elected four times to the presidency of the United States. Franklin's struggle to overcome the physical disabilities, embarrassment, and relentless pain resulting from the poliomyelitis he contracted as a young man reveals the strength of his determination to lead a full political life and remain attractive to the opposite sex. The women in Franklin's life include his mother, Sarah Delano Roosevelt, who controlled her son financially all of his life; his wife Eleanor, whom he encouraged on her crusades and respected, but didn't love; his secretary Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, who worshiped and cared for him until her own health deteriorated; and the love of his life, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, former social secretary to Eleanor. Because his mother threatened to disinherit him, Franklin could never divorce Eleanor. Much of the information Persico presents comes from the recently discovered letters and papers of Lucy Rutherfurd. These letters disclose the intimate and longstanding nature of the relationship between Franklin and Lucy. Of course, some of Persico's observations are purely speculative, since, as he points out, he wasn't present in the room at the time. Barker's excellent, unvoiced biographical study captures both the serious, and occasionally capricious, nature of Franklin's mind. By bringing conversations alive from letters and recorded tapes, Barker allows the listener to see and hear the words of one of our most famous statesmen. As this is long and concentrates primarily on narrative and dialogue rather than action, it is primarily for history buffs who can relate to the time period and biographical details. Susan Allison, Libn, Lewiston HS, Lewiston, ME

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Author:Allison, Susan
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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