Letter from New York


I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Had he lived, Franklin Delano Roosevelt would be 133, and probably still President of the United States.

John Q. Barrett, who teaches criminal procedure at St. John’s University School of Law, is somewhat younger, very much alive, and responsible for one of the more penetrating biographies of Roosevelt. While gathering material to write a forthcoming biography of someone else — Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert H. Jackson, a Roosevelt appointee to the Court — Barrett discovered in Jackson’s papers an unknown mémoire of his working relationship with Roosevelt dating from 1911.

Barrett edited the raw manuscript and turned it into That Man: An Insider’s Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The work has been called “admirable…even heroic,” “lively, revealing,” and “a rare and happy event.” In the interest of balance, one Amazon reader (that may be too strong a word) dinged it with one star because it didn’t have any pictures.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, Professor Barrett has been kind enough to share the story of another St. Patrick’s Day, seventy years removed, that also happened to be the occasion of Franklin and Eleanor’s fortieth wedding anniversary, which Justice Jackson (also a dear friend) helped them celebrate.

Please allow yourself the treat of reading it here.



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