Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Conrad Black

- Abstract

Reading Conrad Black’s massive new biography of Roosevelt brought to mind a conversation with my father, now ninety, who came of age under FDR, admired him intensely, and during World War II worked for his administration. In the course of our discussion I ventured that I now had “more and more problems” with the career of the 32nd President. My father’s surprising answer: “So do I.” Thus does time gradually erode and reshape our understanding of even the greatest of our contemporaries.

Conrad Black’s response would assuredly be quite different. The Canadian-born author, now Lord Black of Crossharbour and the embattled publisher of the London Telegraph, the Jerusalem Post, and other newspapers, is a tremendous Roosevelt enthusiast. As his biography makes clear, he has few if any “problems” with him.

About the Author

Arthur Waldron is the Lauder professor of international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington, D.C.