"Roosevelt the antiquarian, the anecdotalist, the collector of books, the gentleman farmer, the affable host . . . and important part of Roosevelt and one which has not been so well documented before."—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
"As a personal picture of Roosevelt's lighter moments during the war, Hassett's diary is unsurpassed."—The Christian Science Monitor
"It is Hassett's ability to observe . . . that gives the reader the sense of knowing the real Roosevelt during those years."—San Francisco Chronicle
William D. Hassett was an assistant secretary to Franklin D. Roosevelt. He left a revelatory account of his three years of daily interaction with the President accompanying him on many train trips to and from Hyde Park that remained entirely hidden to the press and most outsiders. Hassett was a newspaperman and public relations executive who had a close relationship with FDR, who admired his profound erudition and talent as a writer. At times the secretary, who scrupulously recorded the comings and goings of innumerable visitors and dignitaries, secret and not, added some of his own observations and evaluations of one person or another. Many of the slow train rides from a railroad siding kept secret to most people to Hyde Park were the occasion for visitors to come on board along the way or for FDR to stop and spend some time in conference off the train. These recorded chronicles are quoted in most historical works about Franklin D. Roosevelt particularly during the war years as an unmatched treasure trove that enhances the historical record.