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FDR's Funeral Train; A Betrayed Widow, A Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance

Klara, Robert

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ISBN 10: 0230619142 / ISBN 13: 9780230619142
Published by Palgrave macmillan, New York, 2010
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xx, 244 pages. Notes. Index. In April 1945, the funeral train carrying the body of Franklin D. Roosevelt embarked on a three-day, thousand-mile odyssey through nine states before reaching the president's home where he was buried. Many who would recall the journey later would agree it was a foolhardy idea to start with - putting every important elected figure in Washington on a single train during the biggest war in history. For the American people, of course, the funeral train was just that - the train bearing the body of deceased FDR. It passed with darkened windows; few gave thought to what might be happening aboard. A closer look inside the train, however,would reveal a Soviet spy about to leak a state secret, a newly widowed Eleanor Roosevelt, who just found out that her husband's mistress was in the room when he died, and the entire family of incoming president Harry S Truman. The thrilling story of what took place behind the Pullman shades, where women whispered and men tossed back highballs, has never been told. On the occasion of the sixty-fifth anniversary of FDR's death, Klara chronicles the action-packed three-day train ride during which, among other things, Truman hammered out the policies that would galvanize a country in mourning and win the Second World War. Robert Klara is a longtime magazine editor and writer. He's served on the mastheads of numerous titles including Town & Country and Architecture, and he's currently a staff writer for Adweek and a contributing editor for American Road magazine. His articles, essays, profiles and podcasts have appeared in a wide variety of publications including The New York Times, American Heritage, the New York Daily News, The Christian Science Monitor, New Jersey Monthly, and The Huffington Post. In all of his published work, Klara has made a specialty of uncovering the overlooked and forgotten facets of American history. He was first to bring to print the full story of the fabled Riveria, the 1930s nightclub that the New Jersey mob built into the cliffs of the Palisades overlooking Manhattan; and unearthed the story of Antoine LeBlanc, one of America's first mass murderers, whose 1833 death mask turned up in a local estate sale. Klara's stories about little known facets of Americana have included taking a locomotive-driving lesson, working aboard a New York City Harbor tugboat, and verifying the authenticity of a surviving piece of the Graf Zeppelin bought on eBay. In March 2010, Palgrave Macmillan published Klara's first book, FDR's Funeral Train: A Betrayed Widow, A Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance. The first work to tell the inside story of the train that carried Franklin D. Roosevelt's remains over a thousand miles to his final resting place during the darkest days of WWII, the book enjoyed wide critical acclaim. The Daily Beast named it a "hot read" of 2010. Klara's second book, The Hidden White House, was published by Thomas Dunne Books in October of 2013. Klara holds a B.A. in English from Fordham University, and an M.A. in literature and creative writing from the City University of New York. He lives in New York City. First Edition [stated]. and First Printing [stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 72442

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Bibliographic Details

Title: FDR's Funeral Train; A Betrayed Widow, A ...

Publisher: Palgrave macmillan, New York

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The April 1945 journey of FDR's funeral train became a thousand-mile odyssey, fraught with heartbreak and scandal. As it passed through the night, few of the grieving onlookers gave thought to what might be happening behind the Pullman shades, where women whispered and men tossed back highballs. Inside was a Soviet spy, a newly widowed Eleanor Roosevelt, who had just discovered that her husband's mistress was in the room with him when he died, all the Supreme Court justices, and incoming president Harry S. Truman who was scrambling to learn secrets FDR had never shared with him.

Weaving together information from long-forgotten diaries and declassified Secret Service documents, journalist and historian Robert Klara enters the private world on board that famous train. He chronicles the three days during which the country grieved and despaired as never before, and a new president hammered out the policies that would galvanize a country in mourning and win the Second World War.

About the Author:

Robert Klara is an editor and writer. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Daily News, American Heritage, New Jersey Monthly, and The Christian Science Monitor. Klara has been a staff editor for numerous magazines, including Town & Country and Architecture, and has also worked as a researcher for legendary author Gay Talese. He lives in New York City.

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