Biography

About Susan Butler


Susan Butler’s newest book, “My Dear Mr. Stalin: The Complete Correspondence of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin" was recently published by Yale University Press in 2006.

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 has just been optioned by a well-known Hollywood company.

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 a MA from the School of Arts and Sciences. She now lives in Lake Wales, Florida.

In 2008 Butler was named a MacDowell fellow.

This Spring Butler went on a mystery voyage on the RV Seward Johnson which left from Pago Pago, American Samoa on April 1 and returned to Pago Pago May 17.