MARGARET SUCKLEY so adored her sixth cousin Franklin Roosevelt that she carefully preserved every scrap of paper he sent her and faithfully recorded their "extraordinary friendship" in thousands of pages of notes and diary entries that she kept on his presidency. [Margaret] Suckley died in 1991, and when friends cleaned her house, Wilderstein, they found a battered black suitcase concealed beneath her bed. Inside, they found a detailed chronicle of FDR's "off hours" and the intimate frustrations he experienced living in the White House.
Recognizing the invaluable record Suckley's material presented, the board of directors of Wilderstein asked historian Geoffrey Ward, who knew Suckley and who had worked to preserve her estate, to assemble her papers for publication. Closest Companion contains all of Suckley's letters to FDR, the 38 letters of his which she preserved and approximately half of her diary entries. All of this material is new. The result is a remarkable portrait of FDR and the personal crises he faced during his presidency -- jealous friends, demanding colleagues, family disappointments, loneliness, declining health and mental fatigue.
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