Preview: As He Saw It

Published in 1946

This book was better than I anticipated. Perhaps that is unfair, but the Roosevelt children do not get much credit for anything other than their heritage. This particular offspring did have a popular mystery series late in his life featuring a (fictional) Eleanor Roosevelt as, a White House Jessica Fletcher.

The book is crisp and sticks very close to the subject- and the point. And the point is that Elliott Roosevelt believes the agreements made in the conferences Roosevelt shepherded were cast aside after his death. The fact this book was published in 1946 (therefore probably written in 1945), sheds light on how quickly the US (or Churchill specifically) moved to make Stalin the enemy and keep that war machinery buzzing.

Elliott makes prophetic remarks about something that rings true still today- say something so outlandish it is unbelievable and it will be repeated often enough that it is believed. Sound familiar?

The book is more pointedly about the conferences but Elliott does share tender moments between a father and son. And I was very interested to discover Elliott had a personal relationship with General Eisenhower.

Overall, the book is emotional in its beginning and end, and you can almost picture Elliott pounding a podium as if he was speaking to the American People in a televised speech. President Roosevelt’s masterful command of personalities and policy (not to mention his ability to consider what would need to happen after the war) is blended neatly with a roll call of names that makes one consider how lucky we were to have real leadership in World War II.

A full review is forthcoming. The next book reviewed will be A Man of Iron about the oft-overlooked Grover Cleveland.

By Eric Ebinger

Constantly feeding the passion of studying presidents with reading, writing and walking humbly in their footsteps. Constantly- except for the 50 hours a week I serve as Human Resources Manager for a wonderful manufacturing company in north central Ohio. 

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