FDR Author Jean Edward Smith
ISBN-10 0812970497
ISBN-13 9780812970494
Year 2008-05-13
Pages 880
Language English
Publisher Random House
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER A model presidential biography Now at last we have a biography that is right for the man Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post Book WorldOne of todays 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 Americas greatest presidents This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details We see how Roosevelt s restless energy fierce intellect personal magnetism and ability to project effortless grace permitted him to master countless challenges throughout his life Smith recounts FDRs 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 FDRs 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 FDRs public and individual achievements Lucy Mercer the great romantic love of FDRs life and Missy LeHand FDRs 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 Roosevelt s public career including his disastrous attempt to reconstruct the Judiciary the shameful internment of Japanese Americans and Roosevelts occasionally self defeating Executive overreach Additionally Smith offers a sensitive and balanced assessment of Roosevelts response to the Holocaust noting its breakthroughs and shortcomings Summing up Roosevelts 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 mans 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

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