Upon his death, Hendrik van Loon was described in The Times obituary as 'one of the most engaging products of the marriage between Holland and the United States'. One of FDR's true and closest friends, van Loon emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States at age 20, in 1902. Working as a historian, journalist, illustrator, and radio commentator, van Loon immersed himself in American cultural life from the 1920s through the '40s, until his death three months before D-Day. Van Loon's professional relationships and friendships with such distinguished persons as Sinclair Lewis, Van Wyck Brooks, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Herbert Hoover, and Fiorello La Guardia bolster his place as a celebrity of his times. This biography is an exciting and nuanced portrait of a man deeply involved in American cultural life in the first half of the twentieth century.
CORNELIS VAN MINNEN is Director of the Roosevelt Study Centre in Middleberg University, USA and serves as Visiting Professor of History at Ghent University, The Netherlands.