The Confidante: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America by Christopher C. Gorham is a biography of Anna Marie Rosenberg, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who worked behind the scenes to help millions of Americans and the American armed forces through legislation, competence, and leadership. Mr. Gorham is a lawyer and educator; this is his first book.
- 384 pages
- Publisher : Citadel
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0806542004
It’s extremely strange how I don’t remember the name Anna Rosenberg from all my reading about the World Wars. I vaguely remember her name mentioned when, during one of our summer road trips, we stopped at Oyster Bay to visit FDR’s house, and stopped by Val-Kil, Elenore Roosevelt’s, cottage as well.
The Confidante byChristopher C. Gorham tells of the influence of Anna Rosenberg had due to her intelligence, wit, and organization skills. Even though she came from a poor Jewish immigrant family, had no education beyond high-school, and was not a member of the East Coast aristocracy, Mrs. Rosenberg managed to create a successful consulting business. She got involved in political campaigns and was so good that even the opposition was impressed, along the way she made many contacts in the New York political scene.
Mrs. Rosenberg went on to work for FDR’s administration, a time when women, if they were even hired, were relegated to secretarial roles. She, however, became a pivotal figure in the administration, pushing forward social safety nets, anti-racism legislation, the G.I. Bill among others. During World War II, she was instrumental in labor issues for the war effort, and later responsible for “war mobilization and peacetime conversion.”
As FDR’s representative to the European Theater, she was instrumental in the civil-military relationships and built her reputation as a smart, honest, capable, and caring administrator. Later on she helped the demobilization of the troops and integrate them back into society after years of war. General George Marshall was so impressed by Anna Rosenberg that he nominated her to be his new Assistant Secretary of Defense of Manpower and Personnel, which riled up the anti-Semites in Congress, including Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) she was, however, confirmed. At her new job, Mrs. Rosenberg called on the military to integrate, as well as recruit more women. She was also the first American Citizen to receive the Medal of Freedom from President Truman (at the request of General Eisenhower).
The book certainly does a great job telling of the amazing life of Anna Rosenberg. Mr. Gorham knows where to veer off to give context to history, and when to get back to his subject. I’m astounded that, as pivotal as she was, Mrs. Rosenberg almost disappeared from American history – but maybe that’s just the way she wanted it?
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
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