- Hardcover: 520 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (January 4, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199891958
- ISBN-13: 978-0199891955
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.4 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 145 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler 1st Edition
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"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
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One of my favorite moments in the book was the scene in which Hopkins having just received his initial post in the first FDR administration goes to the seedy government building which is to house his office and finding the office itself locked, takes a desk and chair from a neighboring unlocked room, drags them into the hallway, and sits down to begin work in the course of which he provides relief for thousands of unemployed Americans, this in his first day. Later on he was to work at FDR's request as a special envoy to Churchill in London as well as to Stalin in Moscow, FDR's man without portfolio but trusted and liked by those with whom he worked.
The book tells all of this and more as well as giving us insight into the personal tragedies of his all too short life which however lasted long enough to attract at least the attention of this author and this work. The story is about an American ideal turned into a validation of the city on a hill imagery that frequently characterized optimistic accounts of American destiny but one which existed for that time in reality and remains a model that contradicts those who feel America has lost its greatness. Hopkins in this work did not strut about a political stage decrying lost American greatness. He exemplified in his visionary work that same greatness as an extraordinary ordinary man He and his work are still around in this country though not perhaps where the media tell us to look. This book encouraged me to look more closely at the ordinary to recognize the extraordinary that is still the greatness of Americans.
Having just completed The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 this work helps the reader comprehend better the politics and workings of the Allies during WWII.
Churchill called Hopkins "a crumbling lighthouse from which there shone the beams that led great fleets to harbour."
This was a result of their first meeting in England in January, 1941, when Churchill took an instant liking to the man sent by FDR.
Hopkins was a great aide to FDR, and while FDR was notorious for dissembling, Hopkins knew how to read him and influence him in large part. For me, Hopkins is most interesting in that FDR sent him to London before the United States entered the war, and England stood alone, facing the Nazi steamroller and waiting for the landing barges to appear while watching London burn through the Battle of Britain. It was Hopkins who carefully assessed the situation and understood that England must not fall and Nazi Germany would eventually have to be defeated. While the US was not at war, Hopkins was instrumental in pushing for Lend Lease which gave FDR some latitude in the face of a belligerent isolationist crowd. When America did enter the war, there were proponents of placing America's priority against the Japanese, but Hopkins had laid the groundwork to carry the war to the Nazis. It was also brought out in the book that after the Pearl Harbor attack, FDR proclaimed German links at the Japanese attack on Pearl, which helped solidify the country in taking the war to Germany as the first objective.
Later, during the war, the was that very rare individual that was trusted by everyone, including Uncle Joe Stalin, who largely mistrusted everyone, but Hopkins knew the supreme sacrifice the Soviets were making in Europe and how important their killing of Germans was to every Allied nation, and he certainly appreciated the severe casualities that Russia encountered. Now that the Cold War is over, and we can be honest with ourselves, it was the Soviet Union that gave up the most in military and civilian lives, not to mention in the destruction of her cities and towns.
The personal side of Hopkins is displayed. It was very interesting to me how sick he was at such a young age, and yet he worked very hard and travelled extensively. He had blood transfusions on numerous occasions and it is hard to understand how a person could be so sharp and work so hard and be on the verge of starvation (not to mention chain smoking, booze, and chasing women). You could say that he gave what life he had left to the war effort, and died essentially of malnutrition not long after the war.
I would also recommend as a companion, Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 to this fine work.
It is a good read, enlightening, and entertaining. I highly recommend.
I've read a lot of biographies and memoirs of this era (and the Truman years just after it) and this is a worthy companion. I was curious, though, that, unlike most of the others, Hopkins (and Roll) give a lot of credence and credit to Joe Davies, the very pro-soviet former US ambassador to the USSR. Having started (but not finished) his Mission to Moscow - I didn't get past his endorsement of the show trials (not just politically but in terms of honesty and integrity), I was surprised to see him viewed as a major and useful guide. It was an interesting counterpoint (though I'm not convinced).
I bought the book on Kindle w/audio. The reader is more than adequate, though his attempted accents are a bit odd.
All in all, strong recommendation!
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important he was.