“Just when you thought you knew everything about Franklin D. Roosevelt, think again. Joseph E. Persico [is] one of America’s finest historians. . . . You can’t properly understand FDR the man without reading this landmark study.”—Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University
“Persico’s exploration of FDR’s emotional life is fascinating.”—USA Today
In Franklin and Lucy, acclaimed author and historian Joseph E. Persico explores FDR’s romance with Lucy Rutherfurd. 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 of the affair, which lasted much longer than was previously acknowledged.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 contributed to Eleanor Roosevelt’s eventual transformation from a repressed Victorian to perhaps the greatest American woman of her century; how FDR’s strong-willed mother helped to strengthen his resolve in overcoming personal and public adversity; and how both paramours and platonic friends completed the world that FDR inhabited. In focusing on Lucy Rutherfurd and the other women who mattered to Roosevelt, Persico renders the most intimate portrait yet of an enigmatic giant of American history.
Praise for Franklin and Lucy
“Persico is judicious in his treatment of these sensitive matters. . . . He understands that Lucy Mercer helped FDR awaken his capacity for love and compassion, and thus helped him become the man to whom the nation will be eternally in debt.”—The Washington Post Book World
“A stylish and well-written book filled with interesting characters, marital dramas and spylike subterfuge.”—Chicago Tribune
“A powerful narrative that rarely fails to pull you along to the next chapter.”—Louisville Courier-Journal
“Utterly absorbing.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette