Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History

By Robert E. Sherwood | Go to book overview

NOTES

Notes added for revised edition are indicated by an asterisk


INTRODUCTION

xi * The unprecedented number of books that have been published in the last four years (since 1945) about Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration and the Second World War are, to a large extent, the result of his own preoccupation with written history. Although, as I have said on page 938, those who worked in close association with the President in the White House were not encouraged to keep diaries, Roosevelt directed that governmental history should be written as it was being made. On March 4, 1942, the President wrote to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Harold D. Smith: "I am very much interested in the steps that you have been taking to keep a current record of war administration. I suggest that you carry this program further by covering the field more intensively, drawing on whatever scholarly talent may be necessary." Two years later, the President again wrote to Mr. Smith: "I am glad to have your memorandum telling of the progress being made in recording the administrative story of this war. We need both for current use and for future reference the full and objective account of the way the federal government is carrying out its wartime duties. . . . I hope that each department and agency head will see to it that the story of his agency in wartime is systematically developed." Many library shelves have already been filled with the results of this policy and a substantial number of professional historians are still working on the available records. The most notable of them is Samuel Eliot Morison who was appointed by President Roosevelt to do the history of the United States Navy in the Second World War and who started performance of his duties by going as a naval officer into all of the various theatres and on as many of the major combat missions as was possible for one man.

Invaluable historical work has been done by the Bureau of the Budget, the Historical Sections of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of State.

One of the most interesting of the many publications of the U.S. Government Printing Office that I have cited in these pages is Volume I of Industrial Mobilization for War, a history of the War Production Board and predecessor agencies written by a large staff under the supervision of James W. Fesler, War Production Board historian.

xiv * Vrest Orton, proprietor of the Vermont Country Store at Weston, Vermont, has written me:

I was astonished and a little disturbed to have you mention the word Security, and say that you were prevented from quoting in full from certain documents. In spite of two years in the Pentagon, and dealing with that word constantly, I had innocently supposed the war was over.

As I have stated in the Introduction, nobody in the United States Government or armed forces who had access to the manuscript of this book before

-937-

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