FDR (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, May 15, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 912 pages
114 Reviews
One of todayís premier biographers has written a modern, comprehensive, indeed ultimate book on the epic life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In this superlative volume, Jean Edward Smith combines contemporary scholarship and a broad range of primary source material to provide an engrossing narrative of one of Americaís greatest presidents.

This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details. We see how Rooseveltís restless energy, fierce intellect, personal magnetism, and ability to project effortless grace permitted him to master countless challenges throughout his life. Smith recounts FDRís battles with polio and physical disability, and how these experiences helped forge the resolve that FDR used to surmount the economic turmoil of the Great Depression and the wartime threat of totalitarianism. Here also is FDRís private life depicted with unprecedented candor and nuance, with close attention paid to the four women who molded his personality and helped to inform his worldview: His mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, formidable yet ever supportive and tender; his wife, Eleanor, whose counsel and affection were instrumental to FDRís public and individual achievements; Lucy Mercer, the great romantic love of FDRís life; and Missy LeHand, FDRís longtime secretary, companion, and confidante, whose adoration of her boss was practically limitless.

Smith also tackles head-on and in-depth the numerous failures and miscues of Rooseveltís public career, including his disastrous attempt to reconstruct the Judiciary; the shameful internment of Japanese-Americans; and Rooseveltís occasionally self-defeating Executive overreach. Additionally, Smith offers a sensitive and balanced assessment of Rooseveltís response to the Holocaust, noting its breakthroughs and shortcomings.

Summing up Rooseveltís legacy, Jean Smith declares that FDR, more than any other individual, changed the relationship between the American people and their government. It was Roosevelt who revolutionized the art of campaigning and used the burgeoning mass media to garner public support and allay fears. But more important, Smith gives us the clearest picture yet of how this quintessential Knickerbocker aristocrat, a man who never had to depend on a paycheck, became the common manís president. The result is a powerful account that adds fresh perspectives and draws profound conclusions about a man whose story is widely known but far less well understood. Written for the general reader and scholars alike, FDR is a stunning biography in every way worthy of its subject.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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5 stars
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4 stars
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3 stars
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Well written and easy to read. - Goodreads
An interesting, well-written, well researched book. - Goodreads
Novel style writing so it is entertaining. - Goodreads
Very well researched as well. - Goodreads
Jean Edward Smith is a great writer. - Goodreads
Smith's writing style suits my preferences very well. - Goodreads

Review: FDR

User Review  - Ric White - Goodreads

This was a fantastic, well-researched biography with great insights into the life of FDR. I never appreciate a biographer that pulls punches, and I was satisfied in that respect with Smith. FDR is ... Read full review

Review: FDR

User Review  - Therocksays - Goodreads

An excellent look into the life of an extremely capable president. This book extensively covers his four presidencies. Read full review

Contents

one HERITAGE
3
two MY SON FRANKLIN
17
three KEEPING THE MAME IN THE FAMILY
34
Four ALBANY
51
SEVEN WAR
117
eioht LUCY
165
eleven GOVERNOR
213
twelve ALBANY REDUX
229
fourteen NOTHING TO FEAR
278
fifteen ONE HUNDRED DAYS
305
HUBRIS
360
FOUR MORE EARS 45s
481
TWENTYTHREE DAY OF INFAMY
506
TWENTYFOUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF
540
LAST POST
600
Copyright

thirteen NOMINATION
249

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About the author (2007)

Jean Edward Smith is the author of twelve books, including the highly acclaimed biographies Grant (a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist and a New York Times Notable Book), John Marshall: Definer of a Nation (a New York Times Notable Book), and Lucius D. Clay: An American Life (a New York Times Notable Book). A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University, Smith taught at the University of Toronto thirty-five years before joining the faculty at Marshall University, where he is the John Marshall Professor of Political Science.


From the Hardcover edition.

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