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Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Roy Jenkins

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

by Roy Jenkins

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While it’s expected that distilling a four-term president’s life into 186 pages would affect one’s writing style, the writing in this short biography has a molasses-type quality and makes for some slow reading. Too many sentences, in my view, are overly separated with commas, em dashes, and parentheses. Extended thoughts and asides aside, however, the author’s treatment of FDR’s life in interesting. Roy Jenkins (now dead) was an English politician and in the book he brings an obvious foreign perspective to his subject. As part of Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr’s American Presidents series, a series of condensed biographies for “the busy reader,” the book is informative but not complete. ( )
1 vote jrpalin | Jan 28, 2013 |
Being a once-over-lightly on the influential FDR, released as an entry in a 'less-is-more' series which examines American presidents by turning well-regarded writers loose to cut to what they consider the most important aspects of their subjects' lives and legacies. In this case the approach succeeds handsomely; entrusted to an Englishman, the account contains a certain concentration on Anglo-American relations and the European war in general. The book is concise and insightful and will take few readers more than a week to read. ( )
1 vote Big_Bang_Gorilla | Apr 14, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805069593, Hardcover)

A masterly work by the New York Times bestselling author of Churchill and Gladstone

A protean figure and a man of massive achievement, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the only man to be elected to the presidency more than twice. In a ranking of chief executives, no more than three of his predecessors could truly be placed in contention with his standing, and of his successors, there are so far none.

In acute, stylish prose, Roy Jenkins tackles all of the nuances and intricacies of FDR's character. He was a skilled politician with astounding flexibility; he oversaw an incomparable mobilization of American industrial and military effort; and, all the while, he aroused great loyalty and dazzled those around him with his personal charm. Despite several setbacks and one apparent catastrophe, his life was buoyed by the influence of Eleanor, who was not only a wife but an adviser and one of the twentieth century's greatest political reformers.

Nearly complete before Jenkins's death in January 2003, this volume was finished by historian Richard Neustadt.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:34 -0400)

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"Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a statesman whose massive achievements tower over the twentieth century. In a ranking of American presidents, he is rivaled only by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. He was elected to an unprecedented four terms in office, and his accomplishments in leading the nation through depression and world war resonate to this day." "Roosevelt's presidency was one of the most eventful in U.S. history. He took office in the midst of economic crisis: the stock market had crashed, the banking system had collapsed, and millions of Americans were unemployed. Galvanizing the nation with his 1933 inaugural address and with a flurry of legislation in the First Hundred Days, Roosevelt demonstrated an optimism and resolve that garnered quick support for his administration and for the programs that he called the New Deal. And he was the first president truly to understand the power of the new mass media, rallying the nation through "fireside chats" on the radio and speeches that were the mainstay of movie house newsreels." "Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the dominant president of the twentieth century and helped the United States become the most influential world power. Roy Jenkins's assessment enables us to understand how he accomplished this and why he still stands tall in our estimation today."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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