David's Reviews > The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

The Defining Moment by Jonathan Alter
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Jan 15, 09

Read in January, 2009

(2009 At Least A Book A Week) Week 1

So, I am starting off 2009 trying to at least read a book a week. It isn't a lofty goal, but something I could perhaps pull off.

"The Defining Moment" was week 1. I figure it fits right in there with the whole new Presidency thing going on right now. It was an easy read. And quite interesting. For the one thing... did you FDR basically saved democracy? At the time of his inauguration a good majority of newspapers were telling him that he should become a dictator. William Hearst produced a movie called "Gabriel over the White House" about a president becoming a benevolent dictator as a way of softening the public up to the idea. Also, did you know that Huey Long (a senator from Louisiana) was calling for all wealth over 5 million dollars contained in one family should be handed over to the people? Where are the senators like that now? Did you know that FDR was almost assassinated in Miami a few weeks before he took office!?

Yes. All the juicy 100 days details are contained within this very readable history. Plenty of "alphabet soup" programs to dip your brain spoon in and try to figure out what it all meant. It meant that someone took charge who decided America was worth saving, but in order to save us he needed to try everything under the sun to get it to work. And he also needed to teach us that government could look out for all of us and not be a dictatorship.
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