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Roosevelt's Second Act: The Election of 1940 and the Politics of War (Pivotal Moments in American History)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Winner of the 2013 PROSE Award, U.S. History category "In Roosevelt's Second Act Richard Moe has shown in superb fashion that what might seem to have been an inevitable decision of comparatively little interest was far from it." --David McCullough On August 31, 1939, nearing the end of his second and presumably final term in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published September 9th 2013 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2013)
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Mike Gabor
Feb 27, 2014 Mike Gabor rated it it was amazing
On August 31, 1939, nearing the end of his second and presumably final term in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was working in the Oval Office and contemplating construction of his presidential library and planning retirement. The next day German tanks had crossed the Polish border; Britain and France had declared war. Overnight the world had changed, and FDR found himself being forced to consider a dramatically different set of circumstances.
In Roosevelt's Second Act, Richard Moe fo
Jun 30, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
A really well written look at Franklin Roosevelt’s run for a third term as President in 1940 and the impending war that convinced him to stand for a third term. Richard Moe rivals David McCullough in being able to turn what could be a dry recitation of history into a real page turner. He does an excellent job weaving the events that would ultimately involve the United States into WWII with Roosevelt’s eventual decision to run again for President. Historical figures that don’t get much ink now su ...more
Sep 09, 2015 Mark rated it liked it
Though ostensibly an account of the presidential election of 1940, Richard Moe's book is essentially the history of a decision -- specifically, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's decision to go against nearly a century and a half of American political tradition and run for a third term. It was an incredibly critical choice, one with momentous significance for Roosevelt's, historical legacy, American political history, and indeed even the history of the world itself, for it determined that it would be h ...more
Oct 04, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Roosevelt’s Second Act takes a close look at the decision process that FDR used to decide to run for an unprecedented third term and the events that culminated in his election. Richard Moe takes a detailed look at the factors that Roosevelt weighed in deciding to run and the pros and cons of the sphinx like approach he took to deciding to run. By keeping his decision to himself and prolonging (almost to the day of the convention) he ensured that there would be little competition within his own p ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
The story of the Election of 1940, Franklin Roosevelt vs. Wendell Wilkie. Interesting, because for the first time, a major party candidate ( FDR ) was running for a third term and his opponent ( Wilkie) was an "outsider," a member of the opposite party ( the Democrats) the year before, but was able, incredibly, to sweep his way to the nomination. We see in this election cycle, the "outsider" Trump trying to do the same thing--get the Republican nomination. Wilkie was actually an effective campa ...more
Joe Bedell
Aug 24, 2015 Joe Bedell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hard to imagine what extraordinary intellect and character he had to have to lead our country in those fraught and terrifying times
Ron Nurmi
Jan 18, 2016 Ron Nurmi rated it it was amazing
A look at the election of 1940, and how and why FDR decided to run. The author feels the 1864 and 1940 Presidential elections are the two key elections.
Susan Albert
Fills in gaps left by other historians, linking FDR's third-term decision to events leading up to the war. Excellent narrator!
Sep 08, 2013 Peter added it
Very good account of the the times surrounding the lead up to the election of 1940. Some great quotes in this book.
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