Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's marriage was famously difficult, and it is widely known that FDR enjoyed the company of women. But this remarkable book reveals a secret that has been carefully guarded for more than half a century: Roosevelt's closest companion during the last years of his life was his sixth cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley. FDR became friendly with Daisy in the 1920s and invited her to his first inauguration in 1933. The friendship deepened; then, on a September afternoon in 1935, their feelings for each other intensified dramatically. From that day until FDR's death in 1945, Daisy and the president were intimate companions. But the secret of this passionate relationship remained hidden until after Daisy's death in 1991, when her family found a battered suitcase under her bed. Stuffed inside were years of diaries and letters, including thirty-eight letters in FDR's own hand that no one had ever seen. Now Geoffrey Ward, the eminent historian and biographer, has woven th
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Geoffrey C. Ward is the bestselling author of two books about FDR—Before the Trumpet and A First-Class Temperament—and the coauthor (with Ken Burns) of The War, The Civil War, Jazz, and Baseball. The former editor of American Heritage magazine, he is the winner of many awards, including the Parkman Prize for history and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in New York.From Library Journal:
Margaret Lynch Suckley, or "Daisy" as she was fondly called by Franklin Roosevelt, was the president's closest companion during his final years. Shortly after her death at age 100 in 1991, friends discovered her secret diary, many letters she wrote to FDR, and the 38 letters he wrote to her. Suckley's papers, skillfully edited by Roosevelt biographer Ward, reveal a mutual relationship of love, trust, and discretion, unlikely to be found in today's kiss-and-tell memoirs. As a confidante and probable lover, Daisy was unconditionally trusted by Roosevelt. He even informed her of the plans for the D-Day invasion. However, much of Daisy's diaries and letters to and from FDR deal with less pressing concerns?descriptions of seasonal changes, parties, FDR's cruises, and the antics of the Scottish terrier Fala, a gift from Daisy. These entries are repetitive and often tedious. More fascinating are the anecdotes about Churchill and Roosevelt and FDR's sad decline and death in 1945. Suckley's writings show a relaxed, not often documented, side of FDR and a likable, modest woman who lived for and loved Roosevelt. Recommended for large history collections.?Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
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