NO PROPHET of old ever gave his rulers more accurate warnings, and had less advantage taken of his suggestions as to how to soften the blows he saw coming, than did Baruch in the years from 1934 until Pearl Harbor. His difficulty through these years was to keep close enough to the throne even to have his advice heard at all, much less heeded. All the left-wingers were constantly shooting at him, needling the President against him, trying to destroy his influence.
It was not too difficult for them. The President had never really warmed to Baruch, always had hated to argue with him, resented his failure to yield to Roosevelt charm on economic questions, still rankled a little over Baruch's failure to help before the 1932 convention, and hence listened grudgingly, though of course with the surface cordiality of which he is such a master.
Every summer until the war broke out Baruch visited Europe. Every autumn he came back more certain that war was coming and that the United States would be involved and full of ideas as to what the government should do to be ready for the storm when it should break. But every time he found the sales resistance at the White House just a little stronger against him. Every time he wormed his way back to the visitor's chair by the President's desk something would happen that would increase the dis