Synopses & Reviews
Robert H. Jackson was one of the giants of the Roosevelt era: an Attorney General, a still revered Supreme Court Justice and, not least important, one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's close friends and advisers. His intimate memoir of FDR, written in the early 1950s before Jackson's untimely death, has remained unpublished for fifty years. Here is that newly discovered memoir.
Written with skill and grace, this is truly a unique account of the personality, conduct, greatness of character, and common humanity of "that man in the White House," as outraged conservatives called FDR. Jackson simply but eloquently provides an insider's view of Roosevelt's presidency, including such crucial events as FDR's Court-packing plan, his battles with corporate America, his decision to seek a third term, and his bold move to aid Britain in 1940 with American destroyers. He also offers an intimate personal portrait of Roosevelt on fishing trips, in late-night poker games, or approving legislation while eating breakfast in bed, where he routinely began his workday. We meet a president who is far-sighted but nimble in attacking the problems at hand; principled but flexible; charismatic and popular but unafraid to pick fights, take stands, and when necessary, make enemies.
That Man is not simply a valuable historical document, but an engaging and insightful look at one of the most remarkable men in American history. In reading this memoir, we gain not only a new appreciation for Roosevelt, but also admiration for Jackson, who emerges as both a public servant of great integrity and skill and a wry, shrewd, and fair-minded observer of politics at the highest level.
"Lively, revealing and suddenly relevant.... Jackson's memoir sheds new light not always flattering on important events and on a president who too often appears only in silhouette: a felt fedora, an upward-tilting chin, a cigarette holder clenched in a grin." Jeff Shesol, New York Times Book Review
"The publication of this slender but meaty book is that rare and happy event: a voice speaking to us from the past, a voice we had not expected to hear and that brings the past to life as not even the best of historians can do." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"A winning memoir the story of Jackson's life in the White House; a powerful portrait of our 32nd president; and, most of all, a tribute to the humanity and the vision that stood at the heart of the Roosevelt administration.... A unique historical find.... It contains a trove of new information about Roosevelt's life." Matthew Dallek, The Washington Monthly
"A thoughtful, fresh, useful look at FDR. With powerful respect, even awe, for the man, Jackson nevertheless insisted on seeing him in a very human way filled with greatness, yet flawed like all of us. It's a memoir that reflects the best of Jackson: candid, honest and tellingly expressed." Stanley Kutler, Los Angeles Times
"As a Supreme Court justice, Jackson was a lively and imaginative writer. His language stands out in this rather arid literature for its freshness and its specificity. But in his Roosevelt book, Jackson's prose strangely lacks energy; it is often leaden, lifeless, a sea of platitudes....The book begins to sound like Justice Jackson, and starts to sing, only in its epilogue." Cass R. Sunstein, The New Republic
(read the entire New Republic review
A major publishing event, That Man is a long-lost memoir of Franklin D. Roosevelt, written by his close friend and associate, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. 24 halftones.
A personal memoir of Franklin Roosevelt by Roosevelt confidante, and renowned Supreme Court justice, Robert Jackson.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -259) and index.
About the Author
Robert H. Jackson
was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1941 to his death in 1954. A major figure in American legal history, he also served as Solicitor General and Attorney General of the United States, and the American Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trial. Author of the best-selling The Nürnberg Case
, he is considered by many to be the finest writer ever to sit on the Supreme Court. John Q. Barrett
is Professor of Law at St. John's University in New York and Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York. He formerly served in the office of Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh investigating Iran-Contra, and in the U.S. Department of Justice. He discovered the manuscript of That Man
among Jackson's papers while researching a biography of the Justice. William E. Leuchtenburg
, the leading historian of Roosevelt and the New Deal, has contributed a foreword discussing Jackson's relationship with FDR.