Franklin and Lucy

Franklin and Lucy

President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was arguably the greatest figure of the twentieth century. While FDR’s official circle was predominantly male, it was his relationships with women–particularly with Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd–that most vividly bring to light the human being beneath this towering statesman. It is no coincidence that Rutherfurd was with Roosevelt the day he died in Warm Springs, Georgia, along with two other close women companions. In Franklin and Lucy, acclaimed author and historian Joseph E. Persico explores FDR’s romance with Lucy Rutherfurd, which was far deeper and lasted much longer than was previously acknowledged. Persico’s provocative conclusions about their relationship are informed by a revealing range of sources, including never-before-published letters and documents from Lucy Rutherfurd’s estate that attest to the intensity and scope of the affair.

FDR’s connection with Lucy also creates an opportunity for Persico to take a more penetrating look at the other women in FDR’s life. We come to see more clearly how FDR’s infidelity as a husband contributed to Eleanor’s eventual transformation from a repressed Victorian to perhaps the greatest American woman of her century; how the shaping hand of FDR’s strong-willed mother helped to imbue him with the resolve to overcome personal and public adversity throughout his life; and how other women around FDR, including his “surrogate spouse,” Missy LeHand, and his close confidante, the obscure Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, completed the world that he inhabited.

Franklin and Lucy is an extraordinary look at the private life of a leader who continues to fascinate scholars and the general public alike. In focusing on Lucy Rutherfurd and the myriad women who mattered to Roosevelt, Persico paints a more intimate portrait than we have heretofore had of this enigmatic giant of American history.

Baker & Taylor
A portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt offers an insightful study of his relationships with the women around him, from his distant cousin Daisy Suckley, devoted secretary Missy Lehand, and wife Eleanor, to Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the woman with whom he shared a long, secret, and life-altering relationship until his death. 100,000 first printing.

Book News
This book examines the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt through the lens of his personal relationships with women, arguing that this approach allows a more intimate, more human Roosevelt to emerge. It pays particular attention to his romantic affair with Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, but also discusses the other women in his life, including wife Eleanor of course. Eleanor and her intimate relationships also play a prominent role in the narrative. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Examines Franklin Delano Roosevelt's relationships with the women around him, from his devoted secretary Missy Lehand and wife Eleanor to Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the woman with whom he shared a long, secret, and life-altering relationship until his death.

Publisher: New York : Random House, [2008]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9781400064427
Branch Call Number: 973.917 ROOSE PERSI
Characteristics: xii, 443 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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