countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more vpcflyout Pets All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 17 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on April 20, 2004
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. I suggest the book "The Grapes of Wrath" or any of the many documentaries on the Great Depression.
Read this book and you will get to know and appreciate President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. You may not agree with some things, but you will at least understand FDR in the context of the times.
The world was in depression. America was in the Great Depression and heading to what would have been, without Roosevelt's intervention, a complete collapse of America's economic system. Capitalism and democracy fell out of favor around the world. Hitler and other dictators came to power around the world, and radicals gained followers in America. This climaxed in the clash of World War II.
The world we live today in is not a world of Hitler's Third Reich and fascism. It is not a world of Stalinism. It is not a world of colonial empires. It is not a world of radical laissez-faire capitalism. It is a world of Roosevelt's pragmatic ideas for a more stable economy and international security.
Roosevelt was a great president for everyone, and his ideas today seem very pragmatic and sensible. It is refreshing that several notable conservatives have had the guts to praise this book for what it is - a very good book about a great president.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 5, 2004
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 31, 2004
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. Black rejects this view, instead arguing that Roosevelt always had the characteristics of stubbornness and determination and it is these traits that enabled him to overcome a disease and a disability that might have ruined his life but did not. The polio did not fundamentally change him.
After a reasonably small section on Roosevelt's political career in New York and his rivalry with fellow Democrat, Al Smith, Black begins his discussion on Roosevelt's presidency. This discussion proceeds in chronological order and has a fairly detailed narrative of all the major and minor events in FDR's presidency, as well as profiles of all the major figures around Roosevelt. These include his original political ax man, Louis Howe, who died early on in Roosevelt's first term and Harry Hopkins, a social worker by training who ran several of the New Deal's important projects and later became the President's closest confidante during the Second World War. Black accepts the conventional wisdom that the New Deal did not "cure" the Depression. But in his view, this is beside the point. The major intervention of the Federal government into the engine of the private sector economy was absolutely vital as a means of restoring confidence to the free-enterprise system. Roosevelt instinctively grasped this and so acted, as Black demonstrates, boldly and without any real ideology except a willingness to try anything and everything. This is the vital role Roosevelt played in his first six years as president. Without his actions, it is doubtful the American liberal system would have survived in its present form. The alternatives of leftist socialism/communism and right-wing fascism loomed large and appeared attractive to millions of people in 1933.
The largest part of the book is reserved for a discussion of Roosevelt's final seven years, when he maneuvered the United States from its traditional isolationism, into an active alliance with Great Britain and eventually in to the war itself. It is here that Black shines the most as he acknowledges the greatness of Roosevelt's leadership. As Black shows, FDR always stayed just ahead of American public opinion while constantly advancing and then tactically retreating from his vision of foreign policy, namely the robust defense of Western style liberalism and fierce opposition to fascism and Nazism. At a time when few in the United States acknowledged any American interest in the turmoil of Europe, Roosevelt knew the menace Hitler posed. Indeed, Black argues that Roosevelt always saw Germany as the graver threat and may have actually underestimated the threat from Japan. Nevertheless, FDR's policy towards Japan made an attack inevitable. And his open venomous hostility towards Nazi Germany, prior to Pearl Harbor, was designed to goad Hitler into declaring war on the United States. It worked like a charm and Roosevelt had a united country willing and able to do whatever it took to destroy the Nazi and Japanese menace.
In the final section, Black punctures the myth that Roosevelt's deteriorating condition made him an easy mark for Stalin at Yalta. To the contrary, almost to the end, a tired and sick but commanding Roosevelt, used his Machiavellian skills to secure the post war settlement he favored. He definitely harbored no illusions about Stalin's duplicity. On his death on April 12 1945, the German war was weeks from its ending and American forces were preparing to land on Okinawa. Although' like Moses, FDR was not destined to see the promised land, his leadership ensured that it was reached. America's emergence as a global superpower and robust receptacle of free enterprise is a tribute to his greatness. The man was not without flaws, some considerable and in this enormous work, Black does not scrimp on detailing them. But these flaws of character simply formed part of a whole that proved greater than the sum of its parts. The only conclusion a fair minded person can reach is that the United States, always a lucky nation, was fortunate to have such a great president at such a crucial time.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 18, 2004
While I must admit that I read many reviews of the book before I read it, I approached it with trepidation. But within minutes of picking the book up, my fear melted away as I was drawn into what is simply an outstanding account of the man who just may be the greatest American President, if not the most important man of the 20th century. Black's book demonstrates the folly of underestimating your rival or even your "good friend."

Politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, never understood just how masterful a strategist Roosevelt was, until it was too late. His political instincts, as Black recounts time and time again, were brilliant, timely and barely comprehended by his rivals until after the fact. His courage and charm transparently disguised his polio and transformed all those around him.
He invented and innovated and practised politics that modern politicians with countless aids, consultants and advisors could never conceive of, let alone plan to enable. He led great men without intending to and impressed even the most cynical and brutal men of the 20th century.
For an illuminating and superb account of how America was transormed from an economic basket case in the twenties to the greatest empire in modern history by a single man's incredible vision, read Mr. Black's amazing biography.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 28, 2004
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 Century and the Champion of Freedom. On the other hand, the author frequently describes FDR's faults, episodes of cruelty and outright malice, making no excuse for them.
Black has two explicit purposes. First, he wants to show that the New Deal was a good program. Second, and more controversially, he argues that Roosevelt got the best possible deal he could from Stalin. In both cases, Black shows that FDR achieved his ends entirely because of his formidable political skills, because of his knack for getting people to do what needed to be done.
For Black, the New Deal rescued the U.S. from the Depression. Other historians often describe the New Deal as medicine taken by a sick man for lack of anything better, that the New Deal didn't actually do much to improve the economy, which was finally rescued by the war effort. Black argues that this his unfair to FDR and the New Deal was instrumental in restoring life and growth the economy, and that war production was only its last phase. Black leaves us thinking that without the New Deal of the 1930's, the U.S. would not have been in a position to supply the Allied war needs of the 1940's.
Black's second more controversial purpose is to debunk the view that the dying Roosevelt gave too much to the U.S.S.R. during the negotiations towards the end of the war. Black argues that FDR acted brilliantly to the very end of his life and got the West the best arrangements that could be obtained from the Soviets. He first skillfully guided American public opinion away from isolationism and led them to support the European war and eventually to participate in it to rescue the Old World. Realizing that France and the U.K. would not matter as much in the post WWII world, there was very little he could do to stop Stalin from taking eastern Europe. The USSR, having losing millions more men than the other Allies combined, would have its way. Without FDR, things would have been worse.
Throughout the book Black stresses FDR's political skills and paints a picture of an amoral (not immoral) president, showing him a much less admirable man than we are used to seeing. And while FDR the man was moral and principled, FDR the politician knew that he needed to give way on many things in order to get many others. As a politician, he seldom held any single cause so dearly that he would not give it up to further what he saw as the more important ends.
For example, FDR was a true liberal, largely thanks to his wife Eleanor's influence. He nevertheless failed to integrate the army. Reasoning that despite being a good thing, racial integration would interfere with war preparations. He listened to African-American (then called "Blacks" or "Colored" of course) leaders and their complaints and requests. He did too little, but did something by promoting a black officer to general. He prepared the way for later leaders.
But Black paints a true portrait of Roosevelt, warts and all. A quick count between pages 350 and 450 yielded no less than 12 rather unpleasant stories, anecdotes, or traits about FDR, including a shocking tale of ordering IRS investigation and prosecution of his political enemies with a viciousness unmatched even by Richard Nixon.
In spite of these failings, FDR's skills enabled him to build the New Deal and to successfully lead America into the war, to free America from the Depression, to free the world from Nazi oppression, and to keep the Soviet Union from attempting indiscriminate conquests. Black's book is one long justification of the subtitle: Champion of Freedom.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 12, 2004
Comprehensive and incisive
Conrad Black's FDR: Champion of Freedom is a comprehensive and incisive one-volume political biography. FDR had so many achievements that his biographers tend either towards hagiography or towards elucidating facets of his leadership, such as the New Deal or WWII. The author strikes an admirable balance in unfolding FDR's remarkable life and accomplishments.
From rescuing America from the Depression, to shepherding America out of its prewar isolationism, to winning WWII, to setting up the modern world, one begins to appreciate the hard choices and hard work needed to turn each of these into reality. In retrospect, it all seems so straightforward and unambiguous. The author has the gift of transporting the reader back to times BEFORE things were so clear, when intelligent, informed men of integrity argued strongly against each of these accomplishments. Again and again, one is impressed with FDR's clarity of vision, determination, and agility in turning his vision into reality. No one of these is a small accomplishment; together they almost defy imagination.
FDR was a master of accepting tactical defeats in order to gain strategic success. He was maddeningly careful not to anger groups he would or might need to support aims broader than the controversies in which he was currently embroiled. This, naturally, led to (justified) accusations of not doing enough to support the right people in the right struggles. FDR was the ultimate utilitarian and opportunist, but he was keeping his options open in order to seize what he perceived (correctly) to be historic opportunities to advance his nation and the civilized world. It is in the juxtaposition of varied and at times scurrilous tactics with lofty and audacious goals where much of FDR's fascination lies.
In this political biography, the focus is always on the political aspects of this most political leader's efforts. There is no shrinking from the seamier aspects of FDR's manipulations. They are identified, explored, and fit into the bigger picture of this leader's accomplishments.
The author's own life at the intersection of business and politics gives him profound insight into the real workings of representative governments. This book can be compared to Churchill's biography of his ancestor, Marlborough, for its incisive commentary on their protagonists' skills in navigating domestic and international political waters. For this reason alone, FDR: Champion of Freedom deserves to be read.
The book is paced extremely well, with enough digressions and personal observations to give the reader breathing space between the enormous, Byzantine wranglings which generated FDR's major accomplishments. Also mentioned is Lillian Cross, a Miami housewife who, at a rally in 1932, bumped the arm of an assassin trying to kill President-Elect Roosevelt , almost certainly saving his life. From such tenuous threads are the destinies of men and nations woven.
The subtitle, taken from Churchill's eulogy in Parliament, is characteristically apt. A reader finishing this book will understand just how justified is this characterization.
The pivotal leader of the twentieth century has long deserved a readable, comprehensive, and insightful one-volume biography. Conrad Black has done a magnificent job. You really should read this one.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 11, 2004
Conrad Black has presented a superb biography of Franklin Roosevelt that is both fair and informative. While some will complain of the length-some 1200 pages-I encourage all to do their broadsword exercises in order to build up their wrists to handle this mighty work.
Lord Black's acknowlegments are weighty themselves and include but are not limited to: William F. Buckley Jr.,John Lukas, Henry Kissinger, George Will, Tom Wolfe, and several others of distinction.
Lord Black presents a very highly regarded portrait of America's foremost president of the 20th century, and while some are critical of the man, and others critical of the work, there is no doubt of its veracity and importance in understanding the immense accomplishments of this leader of America and the world.
Roosevelt's eary days are linked to his cousin, Theodore, and FDR married TR's niece, Eleanor. Roosevelt admired his cousin and his success, and there are some parallels with Theodore in his early political development, but FDR went on to accomplish so much more in domestic and international politics in such turbulent times.
In his peroration, Black covers with broad strokes FDR's accomplishments which include his role in saving Western civilization, moving America from isolationism, bringing America out of the Great Depression and laying the groundwork for the modern welfare state, saving American capitalism (that's right-he more than anyone),providing successful leadership in a world war, and laying the groundwork for the successful conclusion of the Allied victory and future relations with European powers.
His terms as President brought us acronyms such as: NRA, CCC, RFC,PWA,TVA, and NIRA. He successfully dealt with a variety of domestic foes including John L. Lewis, Charles Lindbergh, William Hearst, and Joseph Kennedy: he defeated Hitler and Tojo, as well as Mussolini,and contended with Stalin, DeGaulle, and the Vichy French. He developed a relationship with Winston Churchill that helped save the world from tyrany.
He believed in and challenged America both during the economic chaos of the 1930s and the incredible war production efforts of the 1940's. He was the catalyst behind it all.
And, in some respects, FDR's greatness is not limited to politics and war. He is known for the March of Dimes, for carving the turkey every Thanksgiving from 1926 to 1940 for handicapped children at Warm Springs. In some respects his battle with polio shows his indomitable spirit better than any conflict he faced and is a stentorian tribute to his determination.
He was not a common man but so many of the common men believed in him and listened faithfully to his fireside chats and shared his visions and beliefs in a better America and a liberated world.
He uplifted so many in every way that he could, and when he was gone on that day in April, just before the Allied victory, the world stopped for a moment and realized its loss.
Yes, it is a big book, and you need to read it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 4, 2004
Literally hundreds of books have been written about Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Yet he remains, to much of the general public and to historians, a Sphinx. What different light could possibly be shed on this man, the most revered--and hated--American of the 20th Century?
Conrad Black, a highly successful Canadian businessman, offers many unique insights. In doing so, he brushes away the legends, distortions, and outright lies that have accumulated over the decades, and shows us an FDR scrubbed clean of both hagiography and historical revisionist muckraking. The author has rightly chosen to concentrate on FDR's 12 years as President, so Black's description of FDR's life before the presidency takes up less than 30% of the book.
It is Black's contention that FDR was not merely the 20th Century's greatest American President, but the most important person of the 20th Century--period. He bases this on seven key accomplishments:
1) FDR was, alongside Churchill, the co-savior of Western Civilization during its darkest hour.
2) FDR ended American isolation and permanently engaged America in Europe and the Far East. Roosevelt, an anti-colonialist since his school days, predicted the crack-up of the British Empire. Decades before the fact, he foresaw China's emergence as a major power, and the Middle East as a potential source of trouble.
3) Roosevelt reinvented the Federal Government's relationship to the people, reviving the economy and rescuing capitalism without resorting to the Fascistic and Socialistic extremes of other countries. Despite the contentions in the recently published "FDR's Folly," Roosevelt did indeed revive the domestic economy, reducing unemployment from over 30% in 1933 to about 7% by 1939. On top of the economic improvements, FDR's "workfare" programs resulted in the creation of an infrastructure in use to this day: The Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Hoover Dam, the Tennessee Valley Authority--which brought electricity to millions of rural citizens, and countless smaller projects.
4) FDR was an almost uniformly successful war leader, moreso than Washington, Madison, Lincoln, or Wilson. He chose the right people to carry out his war aims--Marshall, Nimitz, MacArthur, and Eisenhower--and the few times he overrode their objections (insisting on giving the defeat of Germany top priority and authorizing Doolittle's raid on Tokyo) the results were favorable for the Allies. Despite the disaster at Pearl Harbor (for which Black rightly lays blame at the local commanders' feet) the Americans prosecuted World War II with remarkably few defeats. Under FDR, America produced unimaginable amounts of war material which sped victory on all fronts, all while America endured the least number of war casualties among Allied nations.
5) Shattering the Yalta Myth, Black contends and convinces that Roosevelt created the circumstances which allowed his predecessors--from Truman through Clinton--to complete the Wilsonian objective and make the world truly safe for democracy. Indeed, Europe as it exists today is very much as Roosevelt envisioned it. Sadly, if Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson had studied his views on the Far East, the Vietnam war would have likely been avoided. The use of the United Nations to prosecute the First Gulf War and to harmlessly vent tensions between nations--as in the Cuban Missile Crisis--was again as FDR intended. But Black also points out that Roosevelt would be appalled at how the UN has degenerated in the last decade into a platform for America bashing.
6) FDR was unmatched in his sheer political brilliance and mastery of the varied moods of the American electorate. He knew when to push forward, when to pull back, and when to slacken the reigns of power. His clairvoyance extended to the politics of other nations, and had Churchill followed his political advice, the Prime Minister likely would not have been dumped by the British electorate mere weeks after victory over Germany.
7) Not least, by his triumph over Polio (although recently a theory has surfaced that he actually may have been stricken with Guillian-Barre) Franklin Roosevelt was then, and remains today, a symbol of inspiration for all those faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.
FDR's many character flaws, his deceitfulness, his inability to emotionally bond with those closest to him, and reckless stupidity in the Lucy Mercer affair are laid out for all to see. Black also rightly castigates FDR's political mistakes, such as the internment of Japanese-Americans, the ludicrous plan to "pack" the Supreme Court, and the appointment of Joseph P. Kennedy as Ambassador to Britain. (Nor does Eleanor escape Black's unsparing judgment. Though her causes were worthy, she was suckered by some outlandish groups {such as the American Youth Congress, which was a Communist front} left much to be desired as a wife, hectored her husband constantly, and they were both lousy parents.)
Yet, when push came to shove, FDR could level with the American people as no other President except Truman, grimly telling them of Allied defeats and bucking them up to soldier on to victory. When he set astronomical goals for war production (60,000 planes in 1942, 125,000 planes in 1943, etc.), his numbers were criticized on the domestic front as unattainable and arrogantly sloughed off by Hitler. What neither his domestic nor foreign enemies appreciated was FDR's absolute faith in the American people.
It has the stuff of myth: A disabled man who lifted a prostrate nation to its feet--not once, but twice. A relatively young, vigorous (despite his paralyzed legs) President who transferred his energy and optimism to a defeated, bankrupt country with a military the size of Sweden's--who became exhausted after twelve years of leadership, but with the country restored and greatly enhanced, with a military second to none, ready to take leadership of the world.
Conrad Black shows the man behind the façade, shatters two libelous myths that Roosevelt haters have been bandying for decades, and brings the era to life. Recently, some controversy has surrounded the author's business dealings, but they have no bearing on the value of this book. Champion of Freedom is thorough without being ponderous, opinionated without losing objectivity, and eminently readable (though the book itself is a bit heavy). This is the definitive biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and deserves to be read by everyone.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 20, 2003
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Dealers put America back to work; gave millions hope in desperate dustbowl days and won our greatest War against Hitler and Japan. As our greatest 20th century President he is well served by this superb biography by publisher Conrad Black. Black a Canadian and conservative has portrayed in this length 10000 page tome a brilliant portrayal of the private FDR; his complex relationship with his mother Sarah and his socially liberal wife Eleanor as well as all the politcal maneuvering needed by the great man to transform isolationist America into the mighty fortress of freedom enabling the forces of freedom to defeat Fascism and the Japanese.
Black's book is readable, countains a well of anecdotes yet also includes all the details of the great 12 years (1933-45_ our longest service chief exectuvie served our land.
This book will be essential to FDR studies for years to come. My advice is to read the book slowly absorbing all the incredible
events of the crucial days of the Great Depression and World War II.
As an admitted liberal and lifelong Democrat I am proud to belong to a party whose chief was FDR! "Happy Days are here again" when the reader and Black meet in this essential biography.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2003
This is a long awaited biography on one of the great statesmen of the last century. As a History teacher at secondary level, I find the chapters on the second world war really useful and a good read. I kept going back to the chapters on world war two as they are so well written. I'm writing this review on the 62nd anniversary of Pearl Harbour and what struck me most about the chapter entitled : "We shall never cease...until they have been taught a lesson they and the world will never forget," is the suspense leading up to the attack. There is a description of the decryption and the fact the Roosevelt saw the strategic cleverness of "awaiting events".
Every chapter starts with a well known quote which focuses the reader onto a particular moment in history. The discussions about when and where to start the "second front" starts with a quote from Stalin: "Why are you so afraid of the Germans ?"
There are no surprises that the book shows a warm relationship between the former US warime leader and Churchill, but there are a few surprises awaiting you regarding Roosevelt's relationships with other people !
I have to confess that I skipped some of the early stuff, something to read later maybe. Frankly, the reader is spoilt for choice here. I cannot read it like a novel; I often jump to the exciting parts of the New Deal and unexpected problems associated with it ; WW2 etc.
The writer doesn't pull punches. He tells us that Roosevelt was a poor lawyer who , at best , was half-hearted, but he was a prolific reader and put him in good stead for the correspondence he had to do later in public life.
I recommend this book to teachers, students studying A level Modern History as well as undergraduates. There is far too much for Key Stage 4 students. Anybody who wants to learn about the real Roosevelt, warts and all, as well as find out more about Twentieth Century history ought to invest in this great book.
A great deal has gone into writing this book about a man who brought us all a new deal.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse