Book Write-Up: F.D.R., My Exploited Father-in-Law, by Curtis B. Dall

Curtis B. Dall. F.D.R.: My Exploited Father-in-Law. Christian Crusade Publications, 1968.

Curtis B. Dall was a stockbroker and the first husband of Anna Roosevelt, the daughter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Christian Crusade, the publisher of this book, was a right-wing, anti-Communist group, in the vein of the John Birch Society.

Here are some thoughts and observations about this book:

A. This book is not exactly a juicy, firsthand, behind-the-scenes account of FDR’s relationship with one-worlder conspirators. Dall essentially had the customary right-wing critiques of FDR—-that FDR sold Eastern Europe to the Communists in World War II and at Yalta. But Dall also happened to know the man, not deeply, mind you, but as an in-law who interacted with FDR and occasionally advised him. Because Dall had an affable relationship with FDR, he tended to give FDR the benefit of a doubt, thinking that FDR was manipulated by one-worlders, Communists, and international bankers rather than being an evil man in his own right. This book still provides an anecdotal account of Dall’s impressions of FDR, FDR’s family, FDR’s advisors, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Bernard Baruch, based on his interactions and experiences with them. Dall contrasts the public beliefs about these people with his own experiences of them. He personally liked FDR, Eleanor, and FDR’s mother but had a rather testy relationship with FDR’s advisors, including Felix Frankfurter, Henry Morgenthau, and Louis Howe. (According to wikipedia, however, Eleanor in her correspondence with Anna manifested hatred towards Dall.) Dall also talks about his interactions with Commander George Earle, who sought in the last days of World War II to create an alliance with anti-Nazi Germans so as to block Soviet incursions into Europe, only to be rebuffed by FDR. And Dall interviews Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was blamed for the Pearl Harbor attack and insisted that FDR had prior knowledge of it, yet stripped the American base at Pearl Harbor of its defenses, all in an attempt to get America into World War II. Parts of this book are Dall’s speculations about what is going on behind the scenes, but parts, such as his interviews of Earle and Kimmel, contain a lot of facts. In addition, Dall’s interactions with Baruch are an insightful look into how power and influence work, and how one’s manipulation of power can negatively impact the lives of people elsewhere in the world (i.e., China, whose economy was ruined due to Baruch’s attempts to raise the price of gold).

B. There are areas in which Dall overlaps with John Birchers and Christian Crusaders, and areas in which he diverges from them. Like Gary Allen (John Bircher), he believes that the international bankers are using Communism to take over the world, which would then be handed over to them. Dall takes swipes at the NAACP, believing that it is part of a Communist plot to foment racial tension. The Council on Foreign Relations is a culprit in the conspiracy, yet Dall states that most CFR members are merely in it for the status; the true conspirators are higher up in the organization. Dall goes a little further than John Birchers do. Colonel House is treated by John Birchers as a culprit, and, while Dall agrees with that, he speculates that House declined in influence among the Insiders due to the failure of the League of Nations. Dall speculates about the origins of the CFR: John Birchers say House started it, whereas Rose Martin claimed Allen Dulles did. Dall regards it as a post-World War I attempt to consolidate globalist control of American foreign policy, after the failure of the League of Nations. The international bankers initially supported Hitler but then turned on him. John Birchers never officially criticized Zionism, but Dall does. Although he acknowledges that Morgenthau was anti-Zionist, the conspirators, in his telling, were definitely Zionists. Dall states that powerful Jewish interests agreed with Britain to get America into World War I, in exchange for Britain giving them the state of Israel (Balfour Declaration). The place of Zionism in one-worlder beliefs or in the machinations of the conspiracy is never explored. While Dall admits that Joseph Kennedy was opposed to American entry into World War II, he believes that Jewish power sought to use the Kennedys as an Irish front for its own machinations, to divert attention from Jewish power. Whereas John Birchers and Christian Crusaders tended to blame Oswald for the Kennedy Assassination, since Oswald was a Communist, Dall distrusts the Warren Commission and believes in a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. Dall also speaks highly of Huey Long, whom he believes was assassinated by leftist interests. Huey Long opposed globalism, which John Birchers would like, but he also embraced ideas that would be repulsive among right-wingers: heavy taxation on corporations, sharing the wealth, and increased state spending. Not surprisingly, wikipedia says that Dall was active in the Liberty Lobby, which was populist and anti-Zionist.

C. Dall was a stockbroker, and he does manifest knowledge of economics in this book, in terms of offering an explanation of what causes what and why. Like John Bircher types, he is critical of the Federal Reserve and its creation of fiat money. Where Dall is a little ambiguous is in his view on Wall Street. On the one hand, he seems supportive of it. FDR’s campaign consulted him, seeking information about what is wrong with Wall Street, in order to create a boogeyman that FDR could oppose. Dall could not think of anything negative. Yet, on the other hand, Dall is critical of the international bankers and New York finance, who, presumably, are part of Wall Street.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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