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Teddy, Franklin and Eleanor

September 23, 2014

Ken Burns’ fourteen hour production of the Roosevelt’s An Intimate History was a fascinating look into the lives of these three relatives as well as the history of the first half of the 20th Century.

Separately, their accomplishments were astounding; collectively beyond description.  It seems as if they each lived two separate lives – a public one and private one.  Their personal lives gave glimpses into adversity, disinterest and faulty relationships and failed parenting.  Publicly they reached for the skies – many times attaining their goals, but not always.  Politically they were the best of their generations, but also not without error or misjudgment.  They were masters of self-promotion with their outsized personalities picking up devoted followers and accumulating fierce enemies.  They were wealthy people that dedicated themselves to public service with some accomplishments beyond belief based on their life experiences.

I was awed by the ability of the group that put the programs together.  The team of super creative people gave us seven thrilling two hour, and thanks to PBS, commercial free programs.

They were New Yorkers and we can visit many of the places they lived at.  A short drive from Manhattan can bring you to the Hyde Park and Val Kill residences of FDR and Eleanor.  A midtown visit can be made to Theodore’s 20th Street boyhood home and a drive to Long Island will bring you to his Oyster Bay Sagamore Hill residence.

Occasionally a truly great program is aired, and this was one of them.  Regardless of how you feel about the Roosevelt’s, politically this series is a “must see.”  If you haven’t seen it, watch it next time around – it is a treat.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 6hawthorne permalink
    September 23, 2014 3:23 pm


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