Books: The Thin Man

ROOSEVELT AND HOPKINS (979 pp.)—Robert E. Sherwood—Harper ($6).

On the evening of July 27, 1941, a skinny, sickly civilian clambered aboard a PBY Catalina at Invergordon, Scotland. His correct, grey Homburg hat bore the initials of Britain's wartime Prime Minister. The pasty-faced passenger had no official title: he was going to Moscow to see Marshal Joseph Stalin as the personal emissary of the President of the U.S. In fact, the trip was the thin man's own idea. But President Roosevelt had given Harry Hopkins his blessing, and Winston Churchill had given him his hat, when Hopkins lost his own.

The mission to Moscow...

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