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Franklin D. Roosevelt (Profiles in Power)
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > #32 (US) FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT (PRESIDENT) 1933 - 1945

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 17, 2009 07:37PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States. He was a central figure of the 20th century during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945 and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms.

On this thread, all general discussions regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt can take place. Urls, links, resource information, discussion about upcoming books and other print sources regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt can be discussed on this thread.

Everyone is invited to participate in the discussions regarding this president. Please feel free to post questions, remarks and opinions here regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Here is a wikipedia write-up regarding #32.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin...


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
This is a great video presentation at the Pritzker Library. The speaker was H W Brands and the topic was his book about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The book is titled: Traitor to His Class The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.or...

Traitor to His Class The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H.W. Brands

It was very well done.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 17, 2009 08:38PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Folks, don't forget that our spotlighted and leisurely read is a book about FDR which will begin in October (the 18th):

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

No Ordinary Time Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin

About the Book:

http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio...

Pulitzer Prize Winner - 1995 for History


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 26, 2009 07:06AM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Here is some newsreel coverage of the first inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 4, 1933.

What interested me were a couple of things; I do not see Roosevelt's wheel chair (although he appeared to be seated at the beginning); all of the men had hats on; some top hats and the folks on the lawn were relatively dressed up.

There seemed to be people continually jockeying for position behind Roosevelt while he was giving his speech and I am wondering if the crowd was standing at that time versus the assigned seating they have at inaugurations today.

Chief Justice Charles Hughes delivered the oath and he did it in one fell swoop; not stopping after each phrase; he delivered it brilliantly. And then FDR returned the favor by reciting it verbatim back without any errors with wonderful strong intonation. Gee, can't our Chief Justices and Presidents memorize the oath of office any longer?

Hoover was the previous president and there are some great photos of him as well.

Another difference was that the inauguration took place in March which had been the practice. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inauguration was the last March inauguration (seems like March would be a little less cold in DC anyways); however, the twentieth amendment to the constitution changed the date to January 20th! This inauguration was the last one taking place in March. Roosevelt's next inauguration would be on January 20th.

This speech was the one famous for the line: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Times were probably the worst for the United Stated economically than they had ever been when FDR took office on that day.

I like some of the other lines in this speech; including - "Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment."

Also,

"The rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men…. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence.… The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths…. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits.…. There must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live…. [T:]here must be an end to speculation with other people's money…. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.

Also,

"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy, the moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days, my friends, will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves, to our fellow men.

Recognition of that falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation is asking for action, and action now.


I wish Congress would practice this:

"Yes, the task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products, and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, the State, and the local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities that have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped by merely talking about it.

We must act. We must act quickly.



Sounds like the same problems as today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX_v0z...

Here is the same video with the complete text of the address:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speec...

Source: American Rhetoric (The Top 100 Speeches)


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 03, 2009 08:36PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Here is the White House write-up on Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presi...


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 20, 2009 11:43AM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
The American Experience:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1049332797...

If the above link does not take you to this wonderful video presentation of FDRs life, just go to The American Experience link and US Presidents and you should find it. Sometimes these sites change the pointers to the correct url listing.

This one is narrated by David McCullough.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 20, 2009 09:09PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY PROJECT

This is an excellent link; audios of all links to Fireside Chats, Inaugural Addresses, etc.; there are also some wonderful videos

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/medial...

You can also view the transcript while listening to the audio or when watching the videos.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Video and Audio clips available on line from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library:

http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/arch...


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
CSPAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES SITE:

http://www.c-span.org/PresidentialLib...


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
This was an interesting sidebar that I found regarding Eleanor Roosevelt's initial reluctance to support JFK. I found that curious.

I suspect from this write-up that she was never totally at ease with his candidacy for president:

http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/mep/


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
FDR Economic Recovery Plan, Fireside Chat #4 1933/10/23

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXY7Tk...


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 28, 2009 02:48PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
March 4, 1933 inauguration of FDR (the last March inauguration - the 20th amendment moved the date to January)

Chief Justice Hughes delivered the oath of office.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX_v0z...

Newsreel footage of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inauguration on March 4, 1933.


message 16: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Book that details FDR's infamous court packing plan.
Supreme Power Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Shesol by Jeff Shesol


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 31, 2010 09:46PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Alisa, that was not one of his finest moments. Thank you for the add (this must be an interesting read).


message 18: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Presidents do unpopular things regardless of their other stronger attributes. I have not read this particular book yet but it looks quite fascinating.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
Very true.


message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig This does look good. Thanks.


message 21: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig It is Pearl Harbor day everyone. Here is a nice link to see FDR's speech on the 8th:

http://millercenter.org/scripps/archi...

There are still many people who remember this day. I could only imagine how scary it was. Did FDR's speech give you comfort? Did it rally you for war?


message 22: by Bryan (last edited Dec 09, 2010 12:20PM) (new)

Bryan Craig A book on FDR's right hand man:

(no image)Harry Hopkins: A Biography by Henry Hitch Adams


message 23: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here are a few more entries that I own in my library:

FDR by Jean Edward Smith by Jean Edward Smith Jean Edward Smith

These histories are by Kenneth S. Davis:
FDR The Beckoning of Destiny (1882-1928 A History) by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR New York Years 1928-1933 by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR The New Deal Years 1933-1937 by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR Into the Storm 1937-1940 by Kenneth S. Davis
FDR The War President, 1940-1943 A History by Kenneth S. Davis


message 24: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig FDR and the New Deal:

Franklin D Roosevelt And The New Deal by William E. Leuchtenburg by William E. Leuchtenburg


message 25: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig A new book on the Supreme Court:

Scorpions The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman by Noah Feldman

Booklist:
After the court-packing fiasco of 1937 (FDR v. the Constitution, 2009, by Burt Solomon), Supreme Court vacancies gave FDR his opportunities to install liberals on the tribunal. What happened next propels Feldman’s narrative, which centers on four of the president’s picks: Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, and Robert Jackson. New Deal credentials each may have had, but once in robes, each adopted divergent approaches to judging. By so personifying competing modes of constitutional interpretation, Feldman, a law professor, elevates the story from specialty to general interest and, to boot, embroiders technicalities about original intent and the like with animosities that roiled the quartet. Jackson loathed Black; Frankfurter thought Black a legal incompetent; and Douglas’ presidential ambition alienated his colleagues, as did Douglas’ results-driven way of deciding cases. Taking readers into the conference room, Feldman shows this unpolished side of the Supreme Court in cases of the 1940s, culminating in his account about how Frankfurter achieved unanimity in the landmark desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education. The interpersonal factor in court politics is knowledgeably displayed in Feldman’s intriguing account.


message 26: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Bryan wrote: "A new book on the Supreme Court:

Scorpions The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman by Noah Feldman

Booklist:
After the court-packing fi..."


Oooooh, I will have to add this to the SCOTUS thread. Looks like another good one.


message 27: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Just came across this ~
FDR's Funeral Train by Robert Klara by Robert Klara
In April 1945, the funeral train carrying the body of Franklin D. Roosevelt embarked on a three-day, thousand-mile odyssey through nine states before reaching the president's home where he was buried. Many who would recall the journey later would agree it was a foolhardy idea to start with--putting every important elected figure in Washington on a single train during the biggest war in history. For the American people, of course, the funeral train was just that--the train bearing the body of deceased FDR. It passed with darkened windows; few gave thought to what might be happening aboard. A closer look inside the train, however, would reveal a Soviet spy about to leak a state secret, a newly widowed Eleanor Roosevelt, who just found out that her husband’s mistress was in the room when he died, and the entire family of incoming president Harry S Truman. The thrilling story of what took place behind the Pullman shades, where women whispered and men tossed back highballs, has never been told. On the occasion of the sixty-fifth anniversary of FDR's death, Klara chronicles the action-packed threeiday train ride during which, among other things, Truman hammered out the policies that would galvanize a country in mourning and win the Second World War.


message 28: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Thanks, Alisa, good pick!


message 29: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Another book on FDR and his impact on The Court.
The Supreme Court Reborn The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt by William E. Leuchtenburg by William E. Leuchtenburg
For almost sixty years, the results of the New Deal have been an accepted part of political life. Social Security, to take one example, is now seen as every American's birthright. But to validate this revolutionary legislation, Franklin Roosevelt had to fight a ferocious battle against the opposition of the Supreme Court—which was entrenched in laissez faire orthodoxy. After many lost battles, Roosevelt won his war with the Court, launching a Constitutional revolution that went far beyond anything he envisioned.
In The Supreme Court Reborn, esteemed scholar William E. Leuchtenburg explores the critical episodes of the legal revolution that created the Court we know today. Leuchtenburg deftly portrays the events leading up to Roosevelt's showdown with the Supreme Court. Committed to laissez faire doctrine, the conservative "Four Horsemen"—Justices Butler, Van Devanter, Sutherland, and McReynolds, aided by the swing vote of Justice Owen Roberts—struck down one regulatory law after another, outraging Roosevelt and much of the Depression-stricken nation. Leuchtenburg demonstrates that Roosevelt thought he had the backing of the country as he prepared a scheme to undermine the Four Hoursemen. Famous (or infamous) as the "Court-packing plan," this proposal would have allowed the president to add one new justice for every sitting justice over the age of seventy. The plan picked up considerable momentum in Congress; it was only after a change in the voting of Justice Roberts (called "the switch in time that saved nine") and the death of Senate Majority Leader Joseph T. Robinson that it shuddered to a halt. Rosevelt's persistence led to one of his biggest legislative defeats. Despite the failure of the Court-packing plan, however, the president won his battle with the Supreme Court; one by one, the Four Horsemen left the bench, to be replaced by Roosevelt appointees. Leuchtenburg explores the far-reaching nature of FDR's victory. As a consequence of the Constitutional Revolution that began in 1937, not only was the New Deal upheld (as precedent after precedent was overturned), but also the Court began a dramatic expansion of Civil liberties that would culminate in the Warren Court. Among the surprises was Senator Hugo Black, who faced widespread opposition for his lack of qualifications when he was appointed as associate justice; shortly afterward, a reporter revealed that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Despite that background, Black became an articulate spokesman for individual liberty.
William E. Leuchtenburg is one of America's premier historians, a scholar who combines depth of learning with a graceful style. This superbly crafted book sheds new light on the great Constitutional crisis of our century, illuminating the legal and political battles that created today's Supreme Court.


message 30: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Awesome, Alisa. Great stuff, thanks!!


message 31: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I picked these two volumes up at a library book sale:

Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook Blanche Wiesen Cook

Eleanor Roosevelt Volume 2 , The Defining Years, 1933-1938 by Blanche Wiesen Cook Blanche Wiesen Cook

Description:
This highly readable, well-researched work of feminist scholarship erases the image of the young Eleanor Roosevelt as a long-suffering, repressed wife and presents her as a strong, ever-evolving individual.


message 32: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Some links to Hyde Park, FDR's home in New York:
http://www.nps.gov/hofr/index.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_of_...


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 12, 2011 10:30PM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
This was a startling revelation about FDR. The doctor who stated this after examining FDR was renowned in the Boston area and a well known medical conglomerate is named after him.

FDR died 66 years ago - April 12th.

New memo shows FDR unfit to remain pres.
A newly released memo shows that a Boston doctor who examined FDR in 1944 said he did not believe the president was fit to complete a fourth term. Katie Couric reports.


Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?i...


message 34: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Great stuff, Bentley; many people around him knew he was not well, but memo is fascinating. I think people were just hoping he would last!

Dewey in 1944 ran on the premise that FDR was a "tired man" but FDR did a great speech near the election that helped dispel that image.


message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 13, 2011 09:08AM) (new)

Bentley | 44167 comments Mod
People wanted to believe that he was well. But Lahey I think was telling the truth but I also saw this which was published in 1985.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

About Lahey Clinic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahey_Cl...

This was also in the New York Times in the same year:

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/15/us/...

So I assume this is the letter that was kept private and it revealed what everybody knows today is true. Lahey tried to be forthright and told a truth nobody wanted to hear.


message 36: by Bryan (last edited Apr 13, 2011 09:10AM) (new)

Bryan Craig I believe this book is mentioned in this thread, but if not, it is timely. I read it and I liked it a lot. He argues that if his health was not so bad, he would have been a more effective leader facing Stalin and the end of the war.

The Dying President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1944-1945 by Robert H. Ferrell Robert H. Ferrell

Booklist review:
Unquestionably, FDR was not healthy enough to survive a fourth term, yet his death was a tremendous national shock, showing the affection with which he was regarded--and how effectively his debilitation was concealed. Ferrell's mining of the president's medical condition has unearthed interesting nuggets about the cover-up, such as the fact that FDR's medical chart is missing. However, a diary kept by Roosevelt's cousin, Margaret Suckley, has recently surfaced and it, along with the memoirs of his cardiologist, forms the basis for this day-by-day account of his decline. A thorough and diligent historian, Ferrell presents the provable facts and then collects in a final chapter his speculations about FDR's motives for hiding his condition. Ferrell's views seem reasonable--FDR was self-contained, felt that he was indispensable, and was, perhaps, unwilling to face medical reality--and he explains how these factors came to bear on the larger questions, such as the critical decisions taken, or not taken, because of FDR's inability to work during the climax of World War II. The last word on the subject--unless FDR's chart ever surfaces.


message 37: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Stumbled across this today online and thought it looked interesting:

The Crisis of the Old Order 1919-1933, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume I (The Age of Roosevelt) by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933, volume one of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Age of Roosevelt series, is the first of three books that interpret the political, economic, social, and intellectual history of the early twentieth century in terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the spokesman and symbol of the period. Portraying the United States from the Great War to the Great Depression, The Crisis of the Old Order covers the Jazz Age and the rise and fall of the cult of business. For a season, prosperity seemed permanent, but the illusion came to an end when Wall Street crashed in October 1929. Public trust in the wisdom of business leadership crashed too. With a dramatist’s eye for vivid detail and a scholar’s respect for accuracy, Schlesinger brings to life the era that gave rise to FDR and his New Deal and changed the public face of the United States forever.


message 38: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Thanks, Alisa, yes indeed, I liked this book. I got a sense this book stems from a liberal viewpoint. He really slams Hoover extra hard in this volume, paving the way for FDR.

Here are the other two in the series:

The Coming of the New Deal 1933-1935, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume II (The Age of Roosevelt) by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. The Politics of Upheaval 1935-1936, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume III (The Age of Roosevelt) by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


message 39: by Richard (new)

Richard Munro | 15 comments Yes, I enjoyed these books too ; Arthur Schlesinger Jr was an old style liberal who was still patriotic and nationalist. You will remember his book on multiculturalism the disuniting of America. If you read that book you undestand the split in America because most liberals are not nationalist unabashedly pro-English speaking peoples as Schlesinger was; and he was a solid mainstream liberal circa 1963 but would be considered moderate or even conservative by today's standards.


message 40: by Richard (new)

Richard Munro | 15 comments The Disuniting of America Reflections on a Multicultural Society by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Here is the link; i have to get used to the format.


message 41: by Bryan (last edited Apr 18, 2011 11:17AM) (new)

Bryan Craig Good job on the links; He does have a long list of books, a number of them became classics. Being a cultural historian, it made sense that he wrote not just FDR but "and his times"


message 42: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here is a single volume biography:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Champion Of Freedom by Conrad Black by Conrad Black

Publisher's Weekly:
Flying over the Nile near Cairo in October 1943, President Roosevelt looked down and quipped, "Ah, my friend the Sphinx." Sometimes portrayed that way by cartoonists in his time, he is utterly unsphinxlike in Lord Black's new biography. Massive and moving, barbed yet balanced, it is scrupulously objective and coldly unsparing of agenda-ridden earlier biographers and historians. It leaps to the head of the class of Rooseveltian lives and will be difficult to supersede. To Black, the Canadian-born media mogul (he owns the London Daily Telegraph and the Chicago Sun-Times, among other papers worldwide), the second Roosevelt was, apart from Lincoln perhaps as savior of the Union, the greatest American president, and with no exceptions the greatest of its politicians. No FDR-haters have exposed, credibly, more of Roosevelt's "less admirable tendencies," from "naked opportunism," "deformed idealism" and "pious trumpery" to "insatiable vindictiveness." Yet the four-term president emerges in Black's compelling life as personifying vividly the civilization he, more than any other contemporary, rescued from demoralizing economic depression and devastating world war. His larger-than-life Roosevelt possesses consummate sensitivity and tactical skill, radiating power and panache despite a physical vulnerability from the polio that left him without the use of his legs at 39. "His insight into common men," Black writes, "was the more remarkable because he was certainly not one of them, and never pretended for an instant that he was." By comparison, Black claims, most associates and rivals seemed like kindergarten children, yet some exceptions are fleshed out memorably, notably Roosevelt's selfless political intimates Louis McHenry Howe and Harry Hopkins, and his vigorous presidential competitor in 1940, the surprising Wendell Willkie. (Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor, comes off as both harridan and heroine.) Barring occasional lapses into English locutions like "Boxing Day" and "Remembrance Day"(the days after Christmas and Armistice Day), or "drinking his own bathwater," Conrad's style is lucid and engaging, witty and acerbic, with lines that cry out to be quoted or read aloud, as when he scorns an attack on the devotion of Roosevelt's daughter, Anna, with "Filial concern does not make the President a vegetable or his daughter a Lady Macbeth." A few minor historical errors deserve correction in what will assuredly be further printings, and the later sections appear to be composed in undue haste, but the sweeping and persuasive impact of this possibly off-puttingly big book makes it not only the best one-volume life of the 32nd president but the best at any length, bound to be widely read and discussed. 32 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


message 43: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig One of the standard treatments of foreign policy:

Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 With a New Afterword (Oxford Paperbacks) by Robert Dallek by Robert Dallek

Since the original publication of this classic book in 1979, Roosevelt's foreign policy has come under attack on three main points: Was Roosevelt responsible for the confrontation with Japan that led to the attack at Pearl Harbor? Did Roosevelt "give away" Eastern Europe to Stalin and the U.S.S.R. at Yalta? And, most significantly, did Roosevelt abandon Europe's Jews to the Holocaust, making no direct effort to aid them?

In a new Afterword to his definitive history, Dallek vigorously and brilliantly defends Roosevelt's policy. He emphasizes how Roosevelt operated as a master politician in maintaining a national consensus for his foreign policy throughout his presidency and how he brilliantly achieved his policy and military goals.


message 44: by Bryan (last edited May 18, 2011 12:37PM) (new)

Bryan Craig Here are two other important works:

Roosevelt The Lion and the Fox 1882-1940 by James MacGregor Burns by James MacGregor Burns

Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, James MacGregor Burns is a preeminent historian and political scientist, and he is considered by many to be the leading expert on the subject of leadership. He the author of several books, including Leadership and The Three Roosevelts. He is a professor emeritus at Williams College.

Roosevelt Soldier of Freedom 1940-1945 by James MacGregor Burns by James MacGregor Burns

This award-winning companion volume to Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox concludes the first and most acclaimed complete biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Undoubtedly the most comprehensive study of one of America's most acclaimed presidents, this classic biography is unparalleled in its depth, accuracy, and accomplishment.


message 45: by Susan O (new)

Susan O (sozmore) There are a lot of books recommended here that look great. Does anyone have a recommendation for a 1st book on FDR? I'm currently reading

Eleanor & Franklin Eleanor & Franklin by Joseph P. Lash by Joseph P. Lash

and would like to follow up with a good overall biography of FDR.
Thanks for the help.


message 46: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I think a good one volume biography is:

FDR by Jean Edward Smith Jean Edward Smith Jean Edward Smith


message 47: by Geevee (new)

Geevee Bryan wrote: "Here is a single volume biography:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Champion Of Freedom by Conrad Black by Conrad Black"


I read this when it was first published in the UK, and I found it compelling and easy to read. Having known of Roosevelt only within the frame of World War Two, this provided me with a clear understanding of his life, and reinforced my view of what a great man he was - perhaps the USA's finest president?


message 48: by Susan O (new)

Susan O (sozmore) Thanks Geevee and Bryan for the recommendations. I'll check them both out. Thanks again.


message 49: by Tina Michelle (new)

Tina Michelle | 16 comments Just got really started with Traitor to His Class The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H.W. Brands H.W. Brands and so far I've found it informative without being too dry. I'll let you know after I've gotten futher into it.


message 50: by Susan O (new)

Susan O (sozmore) Tina Michelle wrote: "Just got really started with Traitor to His Class The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H.W. BrandsH.W. Brands and so far I've found it info..."

Thanks Tina. I just finished

T.R The Last Romantic by H.W. Brands by H.W. Brands
and really enjoyed it, so that might be a good choice too. Too many good books too little time!


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