The surprising thing about both Roosevelts always was that, in spite of all the many Very Bad Things that had happened to them, in spite of their natural restraint and parsimony and imperfect health, they didn't come across as unhappy people--not even to Elliott. They had plenty to be sad or angry about, and according to Elliott they felt sad and angry...and then they got over it. They were cheerful people, eupeptic, brave, adventurous. If the "Happy Days Are Here Again" theme tune sounded worn-out and tinny at times, and even to them it did, it wasn't because the Roosevelts themselves ever stopped tapping their toes and singing along. If there was a hint of relentless pursuit of fun--and Elliott's descriptions read as if there was--their pursuit of fun was still successful. No matter how much you disagreed with their politics, and at the time many people did, you had to admire the Roosevelts as human beings.
Elliott managed to betray his parents' secrets, call attention to the weak points in their character, and leave readers admiring them as much as ever.