Franklin Delano Roosevelt
By Alan Brinkley
(Oxford University Press, USA, Hardcover, 9780199732029, 116pp.)
Publication Date: December 2009
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This brilliant, compact biography chronicles Franklin Delano Roosevelt's rise from a childhood of privilege to a presidency that forever changed the face of international diplomacy, the American party system, and the government's role in global and domestic policy. Brinkley, the National Book Award-winning New Deal historian, provides a clear, concise introduction to Roosevelt's sphinx-like character and remarkable achievements. In a vivid narrative packed with telling anecdotes, the book moves swiftly from Roosevelt's youth in upstate New York--characterized by an aristocratic lifestyle of trips to Europe and private tutoring--to his schooling at Harvard, his brief law career, and his initial entry into politics. From there, Brinkley chronicles Roosevelt's rise to the presidency, a position in which FDR remained until death, through an unparalleled three-plus terms in office. Throughout the book, Brinkley elegantly blends FDR's personal life with his professional one, providing a lens into the President's struggles with polio and his somewhat distant relationship with the first lady.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the United States through the worst economic crisis in the nation's history and through the greatest and most terrible war ever recorded. His extraordinary legacy remains alive in our own troubled new century as a reminder of what bravery and strong leadership can accomplish.
In historian Alan Brinkley's biography, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he calls the former president the most important individual of the 20th century. Roosevelt presented national concerns to the public with his Fireside Chats. More at NPR.org
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