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Roosevelt (The American Presidents #32)

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A protean figure and a man of massive achievement, FD Roosevelt was the only man to be elected to the presidency more than twice. He was a skilled politician with astounding flexibility; and, he oversaw an incomparable mobilization of American industrial and military effort. This book tackles the nuances and intricacies of FDR's character.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 7th 2004 by MacMillan (first published November 4th 2003)
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I love FDR. Of course. He was the O.G. of socialist U.S. presidents. (It's a lucky thing that the Tea Party set has no cultural memory -- one of the many qualities of which they are deficient.) Sure, FDR fucked up now and again -- as with his foolish attempt to enlarge the Supreme Court by several members when he didn't much care for the verdicts those old coots were handing down -- but all in all he was a badass, a Superstar of the Executive Branch, with some very progressive ideas and a can-do ...more
Selina Gonzalez
A primarily boring biography focusing on Roosevelt's political moves and very little on the man himself. Long sections of test are dedicated to breakdowns of whom Roosevelt appointed to various positions, occasionally with a note about the effect of that appointment, much to the boredom of the reader. Names of propositions and bills, passed and failed, and mentioned quickly with cursory explanations as to their content and effect, without giving much insight. Perhaps partly because I just read a ...more
In such a thin volume it is only possible to give a pen portrait of one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Roy Jenkins own political beliefs allow him a sympathetic view of FDR, but this isn't just a hagiography. Jenkins obviously believes that FDR achieved so much in moving America out of the Great Depression and in leading the US into and through WW II that he was the outstanding western figure of the century. Jenkins does deal with the failures of FDR's presidency and a very ...more
Laura Walin
Since being hooked to West Wing I have been interested in the US politics, and this was more of a political memoir of FDRs career rather than a biography. In that sense it as very intriguing, as the author tried to track the reasonings and tactics behind the decisions made (or not made). For somebody expecting a (full) biogrpahy this book may be a disappointment, as personal issues were very summarily handled - in fact, just enough to intrigue one to find a more personal biography of this influe ...more
Steven Peterson
The American Presidents Series features a series of bios of American Presidents (as one might guess!). Each is brief, providing enough information for those who want to get quickly acquainted with a President--without reading a lengthy work. Personally, I prefer the massive biographies, but these brief volumes serve a useful purpose of making some degree of knowledge of presidents available to a larger public. The focus of this book? FDR, the man who served longest of all presidents, being elect ...more
Shawn Thrasher
At first glance, it's an interesting choice to choose a British historian to write about Franklin Roosevelt, although in some subsequent research (does it really count as research if you read someone's Wikipedia?) proves that Roy Jenkins, if anything is an accomplished historian who wrote at least one book about an American politician (Harry Truman). He does write knowledgeably and accurately about the overall American political system and the political system of FDR's time. Kudos to Roy Jenkins ...more
Gary Schantz
I didn’t like this book as much as I have enjoyed reading the other books in the American Presidents Series. The main reason for my dislike was the way the book was written. I consider myself an educated man and I have no problem with looking up words if I don’t understand how they are being used or phrased...and, in some cases, when I have never even heard of a word. However in this book, there were so many words I had to look up that I began to realize that this book was a classic contradictio ...more
A protean figure and a man of massive achievement, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only man to be elected to the presidency more than twice. In a ranking of chief executives, no more than three of his predecessors could truly be placed in contention with his standing, and of his successors, there are so far none.

In acute, stylish prose, Roy Jenkins tackles all of the nuances and intricacies of FDR's character. He was a skilled politician with astounding flexibility; he oversaw an incomparable
Jenkins' biography of FDR covers the necessary ground, but it never feels deep and obviously cannot be comprehensive. If you want broad coverage and the general details this quick read will provide them, but do not think you will gain any deep insights into the man. It is odd that the title character of this biography seems more withdrawn from the book than Eleanor, Teddy and Winston who receive brief, lively, and sympathetic descriptions from the author. It also sometimes feels like Jenkins was ...more
A slim biography (170 pages, part of an established series on presidents), centering mostly on FDR’s political career, but managing to convey a good deal about FDR’s home life with Eleanor and his matriarchic mother, as well as FDR’s affair with Lucy Mercer.

Jenkins is a masterful and much lauded historian, and he conveys a good deal of solid political information in his limited space, from FDR’s relation with TR to his governorship to the long presidency. Jenkins addresses the “friendship” betwe
Steve Cunningham
This book was sadly unfinished at the time of Roy Jenkins death. Richard Neustadt steps manfully into the breach to complete the narrative, but the result is an endearing biographical sketch rather than the full biographical portrait of its subject of Jenkins' other major works.
This book is very interesting! I love this book!
Alicia Joy
I did not like the writing style of this author nor the format he chose to take with the biography. He did not go in order and spoke about the whole preaidency from the start of the book. It makes timelines hard to follow. And his style was clunky.
It's great and all, but you wish for more. It reads like it was written by an Anglophile fan who was interested mostly in FDR's interaction with the government of the United Kingdom. Well guess what - that's exactly who it was written by. Roy Jenkins writes a good book, but I'd save this for situations where I wanted a quick summary of the life of FDR. Readers hoping for more detail might be disappointed. Still a great read.
This is another easy read in the series of American Presidents. The author(Roy Jenkins)is noted but I felt he did not do this subject justice. He made trivial characterizations of acquaintances, detailed speculation and ran off on tangents. It was informative but did not feel I know who and what Roosevelt was.

Never, never, never ever use this book as a holiday assignment for a bunch of teenagers to review on. I know, I keep having the urge to stab my teacher.
Interesting as far as it goes, but Roy Jenkins died before it was finished, and the book does have the feel of being rushed.
good audio book, concise, easy to understand, but now i need to learn more about the man...fdr.
Kirk Bower
Written more on the Britsih perspective, which makes it interesting.
Very dull. Lost me very early.
Great overview of our 32nd president.
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There is more than one author with this name

Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead OM PC was a British politician. Once prominent as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) and government minister in the 1960s and 1970s, he became the first (and so far only) British President of the European Commission (1977-81) and one of the four principal founders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981.
More about Roy Jenkins...

Other Books in the Series

The American Presidents (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • George Washington (The American Presidents, #1)
  • John Adams (The American Presidents, #2)
  • Thomas Jefferson (The American Presidents, #3)
  • James Madison (American Presidents, #4)
  • James Monroe (The American Presidents, #5)
  • John Quincy Adams (The American Presidents, #6)
  • Andrew Jackson (The American Presidents, #7)
  • Martin Van Buren (American Presidents, #8)
  • William Henry Harrison (The American Presidents, #9)
  • John Tyler (The American Presidents, #10)

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