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Franklin Delano Roosevelt 富兰克林•德兰诺•罗斯福
The man who saved his country, and the world 治国平天下
Oct 30th 2008 From The Economist print edition

If he is to succeed, America’s next president needs to inherit at least a modicum of the character and talent that FDR brought to his tasks

“MY POLICY is as radical…as the constitution,” said FDR during the 1932 election campaign when he was accused of wanting to nationalise the utilities. In this impressive new biography, H.W. Brands, who has written books about Andrew Jackson and Benjamin Franklin, stresses the contrast between Roosevelt’s aristocratic origins and his radical politics.

Roosevelt’s ancestor, Philippe De La Noye, joined the Pilgrim Fathers on the Fortune, the next ship to arrive in Plymouth after the Mayflower. He was descended from Hudson Valley landed gentry and millionaire New York merchants, and went to Groton and Harvard. He grew up in the world of Edith Wharton. His fifth cousin, Theodore, was president of the United States, and he married Theodore’s niece, Eleanor. (Mr Brands paints an understanding portrait of Eleanor and handles the couple’s infidelities with tact.)

Though he had patrician self-confidence, there was no snobbery in Roosevelt. Mr Brands quotes FDR’s friend, Ray Moley, as saying that there was nothing flabby about his charm: “When crossed he is hard, stubborn, resourceful, relentless.”

Roosevelt was prepared to be radical to meet dangerous circumstances. Yet his instincts and the outcomes of many of his policies were often conservative. As a radical, he saved the old order-and advanced American power more than any other president since Jefferson.
In short, he was an extraordinarily complicated man, and the author copes skilfully with his complexity. Roosevelt became assistant secretary of the navy at 31 but eight years later was struck by polio. Mr Brands does not give too much credence to the theory that its onset was somehow connected with the shame Roosevelt felt about his bureaucratic responsibility for a scandal involving the homosexual entrapment of sailors.

He was in any event severely crippled, even for a time paralysed and incontinent. But by 1924, three years after he became ill, he had emerged again as one of the big beasts of the Democratic Party. His resurgence owed something to the success with which he concealed his disability, something to an age when journalism was less intrusive than it has since become. But more than anything else, it was due to his titanic determination. In 1928 he was elected governor of New York and in 1932, at the height of America’s economic crisis, he was elected president.
不论如何,罗斯福落下了严重残疾,甚至一度麻痹瘫痪,完全失禁。然而,在1924年他的人生峰回路转。身患重疾三年后,罗斯福领军民主党东山再起。他重回政坛呼风唤雨多少有赖于他成功地掩盖了自身的残疾,当然也得益于当时媒体关注不足。但是,他得以卷土重来的最重要的原因还在于他异乎常人的坚定决心。 1928年,他当选为纽约州州长。1932年,美国大萧条的最黑暗时刻,罗斯福身兼重任入主白宫。

Courage, charm, resourceful cunning and a hidden hardness enabled him to save American capitalism, though, as he said himself, it was Dr Win-the-War, not Dr New Deal, that ended the Depression. Mr Brands is masterly in describing the patience with which FDR brought the country to understand the danger of fascism. He is a bit less sure in his handling of international politics, adopting the traditional view that, in the strategic arguments over the second front, the American generals were right and Winston Churchill deluded by imperial nostalgia. He dismisses John Maynard Keynes as an “English intellectual”, in whom it was impertinence to offer advice to an American president, apparently unaware that Keynes was a player at the Paris peace conference.
凭借着无畏勇气,人格魅力和足智多谋,以及深藏不露的果敢坚韧,罗斯福挽救了美国经济。但是,正如他所言,是二战的胜利,而非新政的实施,结束了大萧条时代,医治了人们内心的创伤。布兰兹生动细致地描述了罗斯福普及法西斯主义危害所付出的不懈努力。较罗斯福的内政策略,他的外交才能略显逊色,他沿袭传统观点:关于第二条战线的战略部署完全遵从美国将军们的意见,而将温斯顿•丘吉尔的看法视为其沉迷于大英帝国昔日辉煌的迷思。罗斯福视约翰•梅纳德•凯恩斯为 “英国学究”而不理,凯恩斯对他的觐言被看作是傲慢无礼的英国作风。显然,这位美国总统并没有意识到凯恩斯在巴黎和会上所发挥得举足轻重的作用[注2]。

Roosevelt was determined to destroy imperialism. Mr Brands gives perhaps too much weight to a late night conversation recorded by his son Elliott, in which FDR claimed that Churchill and De Gaulle were conspiring to preserve the British and French empires. There may have been some warrant for Roosevelt’s suspicions, but he was more aware than his son of the ambiguities of the Grand Alliance.

He possessed the subtlest political mind of his generation. At the same time he was a master of point-to-point navigation, moving not by plan but by instinct, tempered by experience.

Roosevelt was the greatest American president since Lincoln, his colossal abilities tested by personal illness, economic catastrophe and world war. He used every tool to hand to direct the United States in peace and war: party, bureaucracy, Congress and the media of the day. Whoever wins the presidential election of 2008 will find those levers rusted, weakened or twisted. His task will be to reconnect the presidency to the country and to the world-something that will take the talent and character Franklin Roosevelt brought to lead America from the nadir of economic distress to the zenith of power.

[注1]:伊迪丝•华顿(Edith Wharton, 1862年1月24日 - 1937年8月11日),美国女作家。原名伊迪丝•纽伯•琼斯(Edith Newbold Jones),出身纽约上层家庭。第一次世界大战期间,她开始在巴黎居住,并参加了红十字会。战后仅回过美国一次。她在法国去世,葬在凡尔赛。华顿与同时 代的很多文人、政客保持着良好的关系。包括西奥多•罗斯福、F•斯科特•菲兹杰拉德、海明威以及亨利•詹姆斯等。她生前许多作品都描述了美国纽约上层社会 的生活。

[注2]:第一次世界大战爆发不久,约翰•梅纳德•凯恩斯即应征入英国财政部,主管外汇管制、美国贷款等对 外财务工作。1919年初作为英国财政部首席代表出席巴黎和会。同年6月,因对赔偿委员会有关德国战败赔偿及其疆界方面的建议愤然不平,辞去和会代表职 务,复归剑桥大学任教。不久表明其对德国赔偿问题所持看法的《和平的经济后果》(The Economic consequences,1919)一书出版,引起欧洲、英国及美国各界人士的大争论,使其一时成为欧洲经济复兴问题的核心人物。
——By Phantom

Book details
Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
By H.W. Brands
Doubleday; 896 pages;
Buy it at Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk
译者:margaret_von http://www.ecocn.org/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=15181&extra=page%3D1
另一篇同样精彩的译文 http://www.ecocn.org/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=15176&extra=page%3D1


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