Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom [Hardcover]

Conrad Black
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  

Book Description

Oct. 23 2003
A brilliant and provocative biography of Franklin Roosevelt -written by a leading newspaper publisher and staunch conservative. Franklin Delano Roosevelt stands astride American history like a colossus, having pulled the nation out of the Great Depression and led it to victory in the Second World War. Elected to four terms as president, he transformed an inward-looking country into the greatest superpower the world had ever known. Only Abraham Lincoln did more to save America from destruction. But FDR is such a large figure that historians tend to take him as part of the landscape, focusing on smaller aspects of his achievements or carping about where he ought to have done things differently. Few have tried to assess the totality of FDR's life and career. Conrad Black rises to the challenge. In this magisterial biography, Black makes the case that FDR was the most important person of the twentieth century, transforming his nation and the world through his unparalleled skill as a domestic politician, war leader, strategist, and global visionary -all of which he accomplished despite a physical infirmity that could easily have ended his public life at age thirty-nine. Black also takes on the great critics of FDR, especially those who accuse him of betraying the West at Yalta. Black opens a new chapter in our understanding of this great man, whose example is even more inspiring as a new generation embarks on its own rendezvous with destiny.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers 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.

From Booklist

Black is the CEO of newspaper publishing giant Hollinger International, Inc. He has written a massive, comprehensive, but frequently ponderous biography of the great FDR. Unfortunately, Black spends an inordinate amount of time describing Roosevelt's personal life, often in mind-numbing detail. Does the fact that a young Franklin tried to conceal an accidental gash to his forehead really help to understand the man? Yet this work has great value, particularly when it focuses upon Roosevelt as president and indomitable wartime leader. In Black's view, Roosevelt, like Churchill, understood that the war was more than a mere struggle between nation states. He believed passionately, and correctly, that it was a struggle to preserve the ideals of liberty and democracy that had been nurtured and developed over centuries. It was that belief that sustained Roosevelt, and it was his skill and courage as a leader that allowed him to bring his people to that realization. Despite its flaws, Black's chronicle of a man of strength and vision is a worthy tribute to his legacy. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A favourable but not uncritical biography Feb. 20 2014
By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
One might expect a writer of Conrad Black's political persuasion to disapprove strongly of FDR, and blame him for much of the USA's current ills. That would be simplistic and wrong.

Black is actually quite approving of FDR, although he doesn't hold back from criticizing him where he finds him at fault. Overall, though, this book provides a picture of a leader who was up to the task of the times, saving the United States from catastrophe during the Depression and then skilfully maneuvering the nation into and through the Second World War.

This book is massive - almost 1200 pages, plus endnotes. Short of a multi-volume biography, this is about as big a book as you can get.

Conrad Black's writing style is fascinating, alternating between formal and then what can only be described as extravagant turns of phrase e.g. Hitler "irrigating his chin", etc. Black doesn't shy away from making moral judgements - the words "evil" and "disgusting" occur at times. He does make quite strenuous efforts to keep things in balance overall. Though this book is obviously a lot of work to get through, it is certainly worth tackling if you have much interest in the subject and the times.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Praised Book on the Champion of Freedom - FDR April 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
In "The Time 100 - the Most Important People of the Century," Franklin Delano Roosevelt is ranked the runner-up most important person of the century - second only to Albert Einstein. Roosevelt is a giant of world history.
On the back cover of this fine book by Conrad Black are these comments about this book by CONSERVATIVE intellectuals I generally admire:
George F. Will: "Conrad Black skillfully assembles powerful arguments to support strong and sometimes surprising judgements. This spirited defense of Roosevelt as a savior of America's enterprise system, and geopolitical realist, is a delight to read."
John Lukacs: "Conrad Black's FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT is extraordinary. It is something different from the dim and flickering lamp of academic retrospect. A new - and generous - light is poured on its subject: an illumination directed by a conviction of Roosevelt's place in the history of an entire century."
William F. Buckley Jr.: "An enormous accomplishment, a learned volume on FDR by a vital critical mind, which will absorb critics and the reading public."
Henry Kissinger: "No Biography of Roosevelt is more thoughtful and readable. None is as comprehensive."
I really enjoyed Conrad Black's writing style, which adds life to the words with his own colorful descriptors. This is the best single-volume biography of FDR. He presents an accurate and living picture of Roosevelt in his presidency and not a dry summary of the events. For example, I chuckled when Black says that FDR correctly judged Hitler to be the real concern while Mussolini was, in comparison, a buffoon.
My own criticism of the book is that it skips over the human suffering of the period. The Great Depression was devestating.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A balanced and favorable account April 5 2004
Format:Hardcover
I don't know of a better one-volume biography of FDR. Geoffrey Ward's two volumes, Before the Trumpet, and A First-Class Temperament are better written and more carefully researched, but they only take his life to 1928. This book relies on secondary sources mostly, and its footnoting is unhelpful--the footnotes just tell what secondary source the author got the information from. I have not read the multi-volume works of Frank Friedel and Kenneth Davis, but they are referred to a lot in the footnotes to this book and no doubt are more carefully researched. Yet I thought reading this worthwhile, and its overall assessment of FDR's accomplishments rings very true. George Will and Bill Buckley, Jr., and Henry Kissinger supplied blurbs for the jacket, which more hidebound Republicans, clinging to GOP attitudes during Roosevelt's Administrations would not, I presume, do. Black's assessment of FDR's performance at Teheran and Yalta ably refutes some of the old Republican canards re same, and make for good reading. All in all, I thought the time spent reading this nice big book was well spent. There are a few errors, and I mention two: on page 233 Black refers to Senator Harry Flood Byrd as a Virginia favorite son candidate at the 1932 Democratic National Conventio--but at the time Byrd was not yet a Senator; and on page 792 Black says Admiral Darlan's funeral in Algiers on Dec 26, 1942, was attended by the "Cardinal-Primate" of Africa, but there was no Cardinal in Africa in 1942, much less a Cardinal-Primate. The book does have a good 25-page bibliography.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Definite Story of a Great Life! March 31 2004
Format:Hardcover
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was momentous and yet it continues to be shrouded in myth. The same is true of Roosevelt the man. Who was this patrician only child of an indulgent mother, paralyzed by polio in his thirties, who ultimately came to be one of the three greatest presidents in American history and one of the greatest Americans of all time?
Conrad Black's enormous one volume biography attempts to answer this question in a new way. To summarize Black's view of Roosevelt's character, FDR was cunning, manipulative, callous, vindictive, sometimes cruel and always inscrutable. Indeed, in Black's view he bore some of the traits associated with the enemies of freedom, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. But to Black, these traits of character were always applied to benign ends and a personality like Roosevelt's was vitally necessary to carry out the tasks the times demanded. Although he is a staunch conservative, Black acknowledges Roosevelt's greatness without hesitation.
The first few hundred pages or so runs through the narrative of Roosevelt's life, including his over-indulgent childhood as the son of wealth and privilege in Hyde Park, New York. Black moves through these early years quickly. In comparison to other biographers, he does not give all that much credence to Roosevelt's early life as providing much insight into the development of his character. The seminal moment of FDR's first forty years was of course the attack of Polio, which left him with withered legs, unable to walk or even stand without heavy leg braces. The traditional narrative of Roosevelt's life holds that the crucible of the battle with serious illness represented a turning point from lighthearted unserious young man, to serious man of gravitas.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Leader in Touch With the People
While I have reservations about Black's ability to judge fairly the critical roles of important people in history by his tendency to see life as either right or wrong, I still... Read more
Published on March 12 2010 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
2.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Machiavelli
Like many Canadians who knew what Black stood for, I was initially puzzled by his choice of subject and thought he would trash Roosevelt. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written. Makes a Strong Case for Roosevelt's Greatness
I give this book the highest recommendation for anyone with an interest in Roosevelt, American History, or World History. Read more
Published on July 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom
Newspaper tycoon Black praises former President Roosevelt for having the clearest strategic vision of the major world leaders during World War II and for using "political... Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by B. Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative, regardless of your political leanings.
Superlative. This is simply the best biography of FDR I've ever read. It is delightfully devoid of partisanship and provides a portrait of Roosevelt as literally the 20th Century's... Read more
Published on March 31 2004 by Jerry Saperstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Why politicians should read this book
While I must admit that I read many reviews of the book before I read it, I approached it with trepidation. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by Joseph Butson
2.0 out of 5 stars A Poorly Reasoned Whitewash of Yalta
This book appears scholarly from its detail and extensive bibliography. A close examination, however, reveals the superficiality and ignorance of Conrad Black, the author. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by Jan Peczkis
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tory Praises FDR!
Once upon a time the meaning of the term "conservative" meant something very different from the meaning we have today. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2004 by Thomas A. Diederich
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive one-volume FDR biography
Conrad Black offers us a truly fair and balanced biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On one hand Black praises his subject no end, going so far as to call him the Man of the... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Vincent Poirier
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xb46777c8)

Look for similar items by category


Feedback