The President's Man: Leo Crowley and Franklin Roosevelt in Peace and War

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1996 - History - 295 pages
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Leo Crowley has been known only as the administrator condemned by President Truman for cutting off Soviet lend-lease after V-E Day. Stuart L. Weiss revises this view while exploring Crowley's long, significant state and federal career, emphasizing his service as Franklin D. Roosevelt's man for all seasons. Weiss deals effectively with Crowley's flaws and virtues as well as those of the administrations he served. Crowley was confirmed as chair of the FDIC in 1934 despite a charge, unknown to President Roosevelt, that Crowley had committed fraud as a banker in Wisconsin. Crowley served with distinction for more than eleven years as the administration twice buried a 1935 Treasury Department report that, had it been handed to Wisconsin authorities, could have sent him to prison: Roosevelt valued Crowley's political and administrative talents too highly to allow that to happen. In 1939, Roosevelt, anxious to have business support for stopping the Axis powers, encouraged Crowley to take the chair of a holding company about to be prosecuted by the SEC. After Pearl Harbor, like priorities prompted the president first to name Crowley alien property custodian, then chair of the Board of Economic Warfare to supplant Roosevelt's politically troublesome vice president, and, finally, foreign economic administrator, the person responsible for civilian lend-lease activity. In this vibrant life's story, Weiss has created more than a political biography of Crowley; he also documents new views of Roosevelt's policies and methods, highlighting the president's emphasis on politics as the art of the possible. Weiss furnishes the reader with detailed portraits of a man faithful to his president even when hedisagreed with him and of a president willing to do what he felt was necessary for the good of the country.

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About the author (1996)

Stuart L. Weiss is a professor emeritus of history at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

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