chapter  1
5 Pages

The Paradox of Power

The railway track which bore Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s funeral train from Warm Springs, Georgia, on 13 April 1945 was crowded with mourners. As the steam locomotive rolled nearly a thousand miles via Washington, DC, to burial at the Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York, people bowed in farewell at every community it passed. Anguish, desolation and grief lined their faces. The president they knew by the initials FDR, who had led them gaily and confidently through the critical period between 1933 and 1945, had been struck down. They had elected him four times through the worst economic depression and most testing foreign war in United States history. For a whole generation he was the only president they had ever known.