Roy Jenkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provides a brief overlook of Roosevelt’s life. As a foreigner, Jenkins is able to view Franklin’s accomplishments and failures from a rational view point. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also known as FDR, was the thirty-second president of the United States, and the only one to be elected more than twice. Even though he entered the presidency during an economic crisis, Roosevelt made a huge on the United States.
Jenkins begins the biography with some of the Roosevelt family history. The family split into two different branches: Oyster Bay Roosevelts and Hyde Park Roosevelts. Both braches had different political view points. The Oyster Bay Roosevelts were Republicans while the Hyde Park Roosevelts were Democrats.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt also informs the reader on FDR’s marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin. At first Franklin and Eleanor had a strong friendship before Franklin showed a romantic interest in her. They kept their engagement a secret for a year because they did not want his mother, Sara Roosevelt, to find out. Sara was jealous of having to share Franklin and when her husband died, she became an obsessive mother. Despite their differences, FDR was determinedly taken with Eleanor. Eleanor would go away for long summers to Campobello or Hyde Park. She was there when the first polio epidemic and FDR dissuaded her from bringing any likely infection. It is assumed that this is probably the summer than Franklin began his infatuation with Lucy Mercer, his wife’s part-time social secretary. Even though FDR was young, his health was not very good. During multiple illnesses, such as typhoid fever, sinus trouble, and influenza, Eleanor would come back from Campobello and take care of him. One of the instances, she was home to take care of him because he had pneumonia when she found letters from Lucy Mercer. Although divorce was discussed between the two, it was rejected because they both agreed it would be a bad idea politically. Their marriage continued but instead of a romantic relationship it became a powerful political partnership.
Roosevelt had not only won the presidency but had also scored strong Democratic majorities in both houses. Congress was frightened by fear of the collapse of the American economy, and thus not disposed to resist the demands of a newly elected president who showed any route of recovery. In effort to saving the nation’s financial system, FDR closed all the national banks, which was named, “bank holiday.” An Emergency Banking Bill was quickly passed through the House and Senate in one day without even a printed copy. The Republican minority leader in the House explained their compliance by...