About Susan Butler
Roosevelt and Stalin, Portrait of a Partnership, published in March, 2015, is the first book that solely and fully explores for the first time the complex partnership during World War II between FDR and Stalin. Together they saved the world from Hitler.
Two elements have combined to prevent a prior reassessment of their relationship. First, the crimes Stalin committed against his own people have obscured his critical contribution to the war, and to the peace. Second, Churchill’s account of World War II downgraded Stalin’s role, and his relationship to Roosevelt. Churchill was the master historian of the age, but he wrote history not as it happened but as how he wanted it to be seen. “History will be kind to me,” he said to an associate during the war, “for I intend to write it.”
“My Dear Mr. Stalin: The Complete Correspondence of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin" was published by Yale University Press in 2005.
Stumbling upon forgotten WWII correspondences of Roosevelt and Stalin at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York, Butler immediately recognized their importance and went on to compile the book. “My Dear Mr. Stalin” offers a revealing look into the minds of two great men through the progression of the war, beginning with a letter Roosevelt wrote to Stalin offering aid to the Soviet Union and ending with a message approved by Roosevelt only minutes before he was struck down by a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945.
It has been extensively reviewed in London, where it has provoked a firestorm of criticism, because the messages between Roosevelt and Stalin by their nature and subject reveal Churchill’s role as of secondary strategic importance in the progress of the war.
Butler’s first book was a biography of Amelia Earhart. Butler became interested in Amelia Earhart because she was courageous, glamorous and had achieved fame and fortune by virtue of her own natural talents.
Butler also had her personal motivations. Both her grandmother and mother fell in love with flying in the thirties, when most people were still afraid to get into an airplane, Butler’s grandmother and grandfather had a plane and a pilot to fly them. Butler’s mother was one of the few women pilots back then, flew in her shiny red Waco, and was a member of the Ninety Nines, the women's flying organization which Amelia Earhart helped start.
Butler’s book, “East to Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart” became a successful bestseller. Published in 1997 The Washington Post called it “The single best book that we now have on Earhart’s life.” She was interviewed on C-Span’s ‘Note Books’ by Brian Lamb. The book was the basis for the movie Amelia starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere that came out in 2009.
Butler was a freelance writer whose work regularly appeared in The New York Times and Barron’s. Her interest in journalism dates back to her college years at Bennington where she was the editor of the newspaper. She later went on to Columbia University where she earned an MA from the School of Arts and Sciences. She now lives in Lake Wales, Florida.
In 2008 Butler was named a MacDowell fellow.
She is a Wertheim Scholar at the New York Public Library