From Publishers Weekly
Why didn't FDR bomb Auschwitz? Why did he abandon the St. Louis
refugees? And why did he allow Breckinridge Long and the State Department to pursue an anti-immigration policy? Aided by novelist Josepher (What the Psychic Saw
), Beir, a successful businessman and amateur Roosevelt scholar, grapples with familiar accusations waged posthumously against FDR, intertwining Roosevelt's career with memories from his own long life. Born in 1918, Beir lost a brother to strep throat and experienced anti-Semitism for the first time when he was 14. His parents' wealth from a fabrics business weathered the Depression, and Beir became the first in his family to go to college. After Brown and Harvard Business School, Beir entered the navy and, serving in London, decoded messages from FDR to Churchill. "What did servicemen in Great Britain know about the Holocaust during this time? The answer, simply, was nothing," he claims. Beir compares his father to FDR; both were secretive, imposing, prideful and elusive. Even though "great people are not great all the time," Roosevelt "was not an anti-Semite. He was not responsible for the Holocaust," Beir concludes, in a pedestrian account. (May)
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