Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created ModernAmerica
Nothing to Fear brings to life a fulcrum moment in American history�the tense, feverish first one hundred days of FDR�s presidency, when he and his inner circle...more
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Critics agree that by focusing on five aides to the president, Nothing to Fear provides a new and interesting perspective on an epochal period in American politics. Cohen gears his writing to the lay reader, sparing the heavy policy analysis and producing a narrative both enjoyable and compelling. While the New York Times Book Review notes that focusing only on FDR's first 100 days might yield a misleading impression of the New Deal and that Cohen's framework
To go along with all the great information,...more
Thankfully, at this very critical time, FDR made some reall...more
The beauty of this piece is the thorough treament of each part of legislation in FDR's first 100 days. The reader is shown the history of the ideas--many of which were career-l...more
Think of each chapter as elongated Wikipedia articles on cabinet officials. Adam Cohen gives his subjects' backgrounds an equal (sometimes greater) amount of space as discussion of the New Deal programs themselves. I think this is more than a little imbalanced. An example: Frances Perkins's work for New York stat...more
One standout figure is Frances Perkins, FDR's labor secretary and the first female cabinet member in U.S. history. It's a shame that, when people speak of the role of w...more
If you love women's history or are any kind of feminist go right to the part about Perkins. I loved that part. There was a lot of detail, which unfortunately means that there was a lot of detail about the other four characters which engendered less enthusiasm. These characters did not wor...more
Read the full review, "Nothing to Fear But Roosevelt," on our website:
While it was informative of FDR and his inner circle & the 100 days that created everything from relief programs for the jobless, Fair Labor Standards Act to Social Security..
But I almost think this guy wrote this book just to have a 3 or 4 page rant that ended the book abruptly, consisting of:
1.) How the Reagan administration called for 'starving the beast' of relief to the poor.
2.) How Gingrich oversaw the end to cash assistance to poor children in 1994
3.) How un...more
This book has its moments but the author does a "lazy writer" technique which too many writers of non-fiction do. That is, he'll take peripheral figures, in this case FDR's first 100 days, and write biographies of those figures. It detracts from the flow of the story and I, and I assume other readers, are not that interested in those people other than their relationship to FDR. If you're looking for a history of FDR's 100 days, you can probably find a better source.
It was amazing to compare the law making process then and now. It was an easy read, but very informative.
Replace the names of Hoover and Roosevelt with Bush and Obama, and you have a nearly perfect copy of the Bush/Obama transition.
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My main reaction to the book, though, was jealousy. They did so much, and so quickly, and for the most part just ignored the haters. I wish the current administration would do half as much.
However, I was half way through the book and only about 10 days of FDR's 100 days had been covered. It was interesting but very slow reading.
The similarities with Obama ended with the hand he was dealt. FDR had no qualms about challenging Congress to give him the...more