Paperback / softback
December 1, 2019
9781421431369
English
538
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$60.00 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
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December 1, 2019
9781421431376
9780801850837
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9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
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v2.1 Reference

Secret Affairs

Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, and Sumner Welles

Originally published in 1995. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was paralyzed from the waist down, but he concealed the extent of his disability from a public that was never permitted to see him in a wheelchair. FDR's Secretary of State was old and frail, debilitated by a highly contagious and usually fatal disease that was as closely guarded a state secret as his wife's Jewish ancestry. The undersecretary was a pompous and aloof man who married three times but, when intoxicated, preferred sex with railroad porters, shoeshine boys, and cabdrivers. These three legendary figures—Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, and Sumner Welles—not only concealed such secrets for more than a decade but did so while directing United States foreign policy during some of the most perilous events in the nation's history. Irwin Gellman brings to light startling new information about the intrigues, deceptions, and behind-the-scenes power struggles that influenced America's role in World War II and left their mark on world events, for good or ill, in the half-century that followed. Gellman had unprecedented access to previously unavailable documents, including Hull's confidential medical records, unpublished manuscripts of Drew Pearson and R. Walton Moore, and Sumner Welles's FBI file. Gellman concludes that while Roosevelt, Hull, and Welles usually agreed on foreign policy matters, the events that molded each man's character remained a mystery to the others. Their failure to cope with their secret affairs—to subordinate their personal concerns to the higher good of the nation—eventually destroyed much of what they hoped would be their legacy. Roosevelt never explained his objectives to his vice president, Harry Truman, or to anyone else. Hull never groomed a successor, and Welles kept his foreign assignations as classified as his sexual orientation. Gellman tells the dramatic story of how three Americans—despite private demons and bitter animosities—could work together to lead their nation to victory against fascism.

About the Author

Irwin F. Gellman, a full-time historian and writer, is also the author of Roosevelt and Batista: Good Neighbor Diplomacy in Cuba, 1933–1945.

Reviews

"Gellman's research is solid, as is his grasp of both the detail and the outlines of American foreign policy in the 1930s and World War II years."

- Warren F. Kimball - Journal of American History

"The thoroughness with which Gellman deconstructs Hull... can be appreciated only by those of us old enough to recall Hull's overriding popularity... Gellman has combined meticulous research with Washington gossip for a fascinating piece of history."

- American Spectator

"Cordell Hull seemed the safest of bets... just about right, come to think of it, for a really solid burst of revisionist history. This he has now got, and in heaping measure, from Irwin F. Gellman."

- Christopher Hitchens - Times Literary Supplement

Endorsements

"Irwin Gellman explores the little-known hierarchy of the State Department during the New Deal years and World War II, and brilliantly illuminates their impact upon Franklin D. Roosevelt and the conduct of foreign policy. A very different Cordell Hull appears than the good, gray Secretary of State who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Sumner Welles is portrayed as a prime policy maker until Hull and William Bullitt forced him out. This is a fascinating, often startling, account."

- Frank Freidel, Harvard University.

"Secret Affairs is a fascinating narrative whose pulse never quite detracts from the fact that this is serious history of a high quality. The dramas, ambiguities, and secrets of the relationship between Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, and Sumner Welles—three fascinating and vulnerable men—is superbly narrated. The vigor of Gellman's tale underlines the robust positions he takes on large issues to do with the Roosevelt era, in particular the question of the administration's level of knowledge regarding the fate of European Jews during World War II."

- Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List.

"Gellman's findings corroborate the impressions I have formed in my own work on the formation of foreign policy in the Roosevelt years. Secret Affairs is not only an important contribution to the history of American foreign policy, but it is a good story, splendidly researched and well told."

- Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421431369 : secret-affairs-gellman
Paperback / softback
538 Pages
$60.00 USD
9781421431376 : secret-affairs-gellman
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538 Pages
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