Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FDR's Funeral Train by Robert Klara

I finished reading FDR's Funeral Train: A Betrayed Widow, a Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance by Robert Klara. I stumbled across the book while browsing on Amazon. This is part of my project to read books about all of the presidents.

Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) died in April of 1945 during a trip to Warm Springs, Georgia. The book looks at the 1,000 mile train odyssey to get his body from Warm Springs to Washington D.C. for the funeral and then on to Hyde Park, New York for the burial. The trip covered three days.

Sharon and I watched Hyde Park on the Hudson which looked at the relationship between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley. She was one of the people in the room with FDR when he died.

The book also provides a look into the first days of the Truman Presidency. After the funeral at the White House, Truman traveled on the train to Hyde Park and back. He and his team were furiously working on a speech that he planned to give to Congress on the day after their return. The book essentially ends with Truman's speech to Congress.

The book reads more like a novel than a history book. I enjoyed it and recommend it. I need to read a lot more about Franklin Roosevelt!

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