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David Roll shows how Harry Hopkins, an Iowa-born social worker who had been an integral part of the New Deal's implementation, became the linchpin in FDR's--and America's--relationships with Churchill and Stalin, and spoke with an authority second only to the president's. Gaunt, nearly spectral, and malnourished following an operation to remove part of his ...
David Roll shows how Harry Hopkins, an Iowa-born social worker who had been an integral part of the New Deal's implementation, became the linchpin in FDR's--and America's--relationships with Churchill and Stalin, and spoke with an authority second only to the president's. Gaunt, nearly spectral, and malnourished following an operation to remove part of his stomach, the newly widowed Hopkins accepted the president's invitation to move into the White House in 1940 and remained Roosevelt's closest advisor, speechwriter, sounding board, and friend nearly to the end. Between 1940 and 1945, with incomparable skill and indefatigable determination, Hopkins organized the Lend-Lease program and steered the president to prepare the public for war with Germany. He became FDR's problem-solver and fixer, helping to smooth over crises, such as when the British refused to allow an invasion of Europe in 1943, enraging Stalin, who felt that the Soviet Union was carrying the military effort against the Nazis. Lacking an official title or a clear executive branch portfolio, Hopkins could take the political risks his boss could not, and proved crucial to maintaining personal relations among the Big Three. Beloved by some--such as Churchill, who believed that Hopkins "always went to the root of the matter"--and trusted by most--including the paranoid Stalin--there were nevertheless those who resented the influence of "the White House Rasputin."
Based on newly available sources, The Hopkins Touch is an absorbing, substantial new work that offers a fresh perspective on the World War II era and the Allied leaders, through the life of the man who kept them on point until the war was won.
"Displaying a strong grasp of the intervening half-century of historical scholarship, delivering a strong and clear-eyed appraisal of Hopkins's personal life, and demonstrating considerable narrative talents."--Wall Street Journal
"The Hopkins Touch is the best biography of a crucial figure at pivotal moment in American history since Robert E. Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1948 classic, Roosevelt and Hopkins."--Steven Casey, author of Cautious Crusade: Franklin D. Roosevelt, American Public Opinion and the War against Nazi Germany, 1941-1945
"Harry Hopkins was FDR's left-hand man. He helped the maestro direct the American-British-Russian alliance that won World War II. David Roll shows just how he did it, this quiet deal-maker Churchill called 'Lord Root of the Matter.' The Hopkins Touch deserves its place aside Robert Sherwood's Roosevelt and Hopkins and Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston." --Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball with Chris Matthews" on MSNBC
"It is refreshing to read an account of a time when commitment to the national interest, personal depth in history, vision, loyalty and discretion were the watchwords. Such is the portrait of Harry Hopkins, Franklin Roosevelt's closest confidante and trusted surrogate, drawn by David Roll in this absorbing update of Robert Sherwood's defining work. Drawing on material never before available, Roll revisits Hopkins roots, his intimate relationship with the president, how deeply he was revered by Prime Minister Churchill, and trusted by Joseph Stalin--all in one of the best researched, and well-written biographical works I've ever read. The Hopkins Touch deserves a place in the American political history stacks of every library in America--and also on your night stand."--Robert (Bud) McFarlane, National Security Adviser to Ronald Reagan
"Mr. Roll's use of previously unavailable materials enables him to present a far more comprehensive story. It's a must-read for anyone interested in the period. A truly magisterial biography."-- The Washington Times
"David Roll has captured the essence of one of the most important non-governmental figures in American history. Crisply written, meticulously researched, The Hopkins Touch is a pleasure to read."--Jean Edward Smith, author of FDR, and Eisenhower in War and Peace
"A masterful portrait of one of the most fascinating political figures this country has ever produced. David Roll has vividly captured the infinite complexities and extraordinary influence of FDR aide Harry Hopkins -- part playboy, part reformer-- whose peerless diplomatic efforts in World War II helped cement the Anglo-American alliance and pave the way for the Allies' victory."--Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in its Finest, Darkest Hour
"That FDR created the world in which we live is a commonplace; as David Roll demonstrates in this highly readable book it was a world created by FDR and Harry Hopkins. The material on Hopkins' maneuvering the U.S. to the North African invasion in the fall of 1942 is by itself imaginative and persuasive. I wish that I'd had Roll's book at my elbow when I was writing about those years."--Warren Kimball, editor of Churchill and Roosevelt, the Complete Correspondence
"If Franklin D. Roosevelt had an alter ego, it was the brilliant and cunning Harry Hopkins. David Roll does a marvelous job of documenting the heroic importance of Hopkins during the Second World War. Hopkins emerges as one of America's indispensable patriots. This is a surefooted and brilliantly researched biography that deserves a wide readership."
--Douglas Brinkley, author of Cronkite and The Wilderness Warrior
"Sharply observed, gracefully written, David Roll's portrait of FDR's closest adviser offers us an intimate look at the wise, brave, and humane exercise of power. If only other presidents were blessed with advisers like Harry Hopkins!"--Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Struggle to Save the World
"In 1940, Britain stood alone; it's survival in doubt. As the US edged closer to war, Harry Hopkins became FDR's confidant on geopolitical issues. In creating the 'grand alliance' his role was crucial. In this splendid, well-researched biography, David Roll has portrayed the decisive actions taken by this 'grey eminence.'" --James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
"In this important new book, David Roll brings Hopkins out of the shadows and casts a bright and unblinking light on the central--even essential--role that Harry Hopkins played in forging and maintaining the alliance that won the Second World War."--Craig L. Symonds, author of The Battle of Midway
"This delightful book-a genuine page turner-portrays the relationship between FDR and Hopkins in a balanced manner while maintaining the reader's interest with insights into the important players of World War II. Scholars and general readers interested in the era will thoroughly enjoy it. An essential purchase."-- Library Journal
"A compelling portrait of a World War II hero whose victories took place far from the battlefield." -- Kirkus
Prologue: A Room Upstairs Chapter 1: Ambitious Reformer Chapter 2: Asks for Nothing Except to Serve Chapter 3: They are Sowing the Wind Chapter 4: Even to the End Chapter 5: First Glimpse of Dawn Chapter 6: Vodka Has Authority Chapter 7: At Last We Have Gotten Together Chapter 8: We Are All In the Same Boat Now Chapter 9: Some Sort of a Front this Summer Chapter 10: Harry's Invaluable Aid Chapter 11: Striking Back Chapter 12: Casablanca: A Pretty Feeble Effort Chapter 13: Trident: A Mollifying Influence Chapter 14: Quadrant: Churchill Converted?
Chapter 15: Tehran: Lining Up with the Russians Chapter 16: A Soldier's Debt Chapter 17: From Malta to Yalta Chapter 18: A Leave of Absence From Death Chapter 19: We Do Well to Salute his Memory Acknowledgements Notes Bibliography