The Hopkins Touch by David L. Roll
Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler

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...a strong and clear-eyed appraisal of Hopkins's personal life, and demonstrating considerable narrative talents of his own.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

The Hopkins Touch offers the first portrait in over two decades of the most powerful man in Roosevelt's administration.

David Roll shows how Harry Hopkins, an Iowa-born social worker who had been an integral part of the New Deal's implementation, became the linchpin in FDR's--and America's--relationships with Churchill and Stalin, and spoke with an authority second only to the president's. Gaunt, nearly spectral, and malnourished following an operation to remove part of his stomach, the newly widowed Hopkins accepted the president's invitation to move into the White House in 1940 and remained Roosevelt's closest advisor, speechwriter, sounding board, and friend nearly to the end. Between 1940 and 1945, with incomparable skill and indefatigable determination, Hopkins organized the Lend-Lease program and steered the president to prepare the public for war with Germany. He became FDR's problem-solver and fixer, helping to smooth over crises, such as when the British refused to allow an invasion of Europe in 1943, enraging Stalin, who felt that the Soviet Union was carrying the military effort against the Nazis. Lacking an official title or a clear executive branch portfolio, Hopkins could take the political risks his boss could not, and proved crucial to maintaining personal relations among the Big Three. Beloved by some--such as Churchill, who believed that Hopkins "always went to the root of the matter"--and trusted by most--including the paranoid Stalin--there were nevertheless those who resented the influence of "the White House Rasputin."

Based on newly available sources, The Hopkins Touch is an absorbing, substantial new work that offers a fresh perspective on the World War II era and the Allied leaders, through the life of the man who kept them on point until the war was won.
 

About David L. Roll

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David Roll is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and founder of Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, a public interest organization that provides pro bono legal services to social entrepreneurs around the world. He was awarded the Purpose Prize Fellowship by Civic Ventures in 2009. He lives with his wife Nancy and their dog Thatcher in Washington, DC and Glen Arbor, Michigan.
 
Published January 4, 2013 by Oxford University Press. 536 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Alonzo L Hamby on Dec 28 2012

...a strong and clear-eyed appraisal of Hopkins's personal life, and demonstrating considerable narrative talents of his own.

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