In the pantheon of American heroes, few names are more revered than that of ‘Roosevelt’. As the decades pass into the century mark, the recent works of “historians” such as Doris Kearns Goodwin and film producer Ken Burns have exalted the Holy Trinity of Roosevelt to demi-god status.
There was Theodore, hero of San Juan Hill, builder of the Panama Canal, scourge of the big bad “Robber Barons”, and tireless champion of “the worker” whose manly image is immortalized in the stone of Mount Rushmore.
There was Franklin, the altruistic savior of America who turned against his own class to serve “the common man”. FDR, we are told, saved America, and indeed, the world. For that, his own image is immortalized on every American dime.
And finally, there was Eleanor; the Sainted Lady whose compassion for the downtrodden made her the Mother Teresa of her day.
That’s the pleasant fiction, and if you wish that it not be disturbed, perhaps it is best that you put this book down and walk away. But if you can handle a cold dose of the reality that Ken Burns and his ilk have concealed from you, then M S King’s ‘The Real Roosevelts’ is a work of entertaining scholarship that will shake you to your very core.