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Like any returning traveler, Franklin Roosevelt found the mailbox jammed, a desk littered with unanswered memos, a row of soured milk bottles on his doorstep. In his three-week absence from the White House the work had piled up—and oversights had taken their toll. To catch up he would now have to work overtime.

The President's appointment of Bronx Boss Ed Flynn as Ambassador to Australia had turned out, during his absence, to be the worst political boomerang he had tossed since the Supreme Court fight. It was too late to repair the damage:...

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