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Publishers WeeklyFDR may have ended the depression and defeated fascists, but historians agree that his administration failed Europe's Jews. Shogan gives old questions a new spin by examining the actions of five men he calls "FDR's Jews": Supreme Court Justices Frankfurter and Brandeis, speechwriter Rosenman, Treasury Secretary Morgenthau, New Deal lawyer Cohen, and Rabbi Wise, leader of the World Jewish Congress. Shogan concludes that their Judaism kept them from pressing their patron too hard, particularly on issues that seemed too specifically Jewish. Given the times (the New Deal, as Shogan reports, was called by some the "Jew Deal") their caution is understandable, but Shogan doesn't analyze so much as recreate. These men aren't FDR's aides, allies, or appointees. With this problematic calculus, Shogan can imply a special responsibility for their failure to save Europe's Jews. This tone deaf quality permeates the book to the end, when he unearths President Truman's Jew, David Niles. The author congratulates him for his efforts on behalf of an Israeli state without mentioning how American attitudes had changed once the full scale of the Nazi extermination policy became known.
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