FDR's quiet confidant : the autobiography of Frank C. Walker /
Robert H. Ferrell, editor.
Niwot, Colo. : University Press of Colorado, c1997.
xx, 194 p. : ill.
0870813943 (alk. paper)
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Niwot, Colo. : University Press of Colorado, c1997.
0870813943 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-02:
Frank C. Walker was a political insider in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He first served as director of the National Emergency Council. In 1940 FDR appointed him postmaster general, and in 1943 Walker became chair of the Democratic National Committee. In later years Walker attempted to write an autobiography, which was ultimately completed by Robert Ferrell. Most of the book covers the New Deal years, emphasizing his relationship with Roosevelt and his assessment of individuals in the president's inner circle. Regarding FDR, Walker argues that no man left a greater impress on the nation. Although a loyal admirer of FDR and in agreement with most of the New Deal's main objectives, Walker was highly critical of the "left wing" tendencies after 1936. Despite his admiration for FDR, he was saddened by the president's lack of personal feelings, his lack of intellectual depth, and his tendency toward deceptive practices. Thus for Walker, the New Deal is the story of what might have been. This memoir is disappointing, particularly in coming from one who occupied positions of importance during the Roosevelt years. It is short, shallow, and adds very little to knowledge of that period. R. E. Marcello; University of North Texas
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1998
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Unpaid Annotation
Frank C. Walker was widely considered to be Franklin Roosevelt's most trusted and important aide. From 1933, after Walker played an instrumental role in his election, until Roosevelt's death in 1945, Walker held a variety of posts in the Roosevelt administration: co-ordinating secretary for the newly created New Deal agencies, Postmaster General during the war years, as well as national chairman of the Democratic Party. A quiet, self-effacing and deeply religious man, Walker was raised in the rough western mining town of Butte, Montana. His modest efficiency stood out among the often clashing egos involved in the New Deal and wartime administration and led Roosevelt to confide in Walker a great deal. A Keen observer of people and events throughout his life, Walker in his autobiography provides an intimate insider's view of Roosevelt. Despite his closeness and loyalty to the president, he held private reservations about his chief. Edited and with an introduction by historian Robert Ferrell, FDR's Quiet Confident is an extraordinarily well-written and thoughtful work that gives a fascinating portrait of a volatile time in American political history and will be of much interest to political scientists, and others concerned with America's recent past.

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