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FDR (utgåvan 2008)
av Jean Edward Smith (Författare)
FDR av Jean Edward Smith
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The best presidential biography I've read to date. Not a perfect man, but perfect for that time in our nation's history.
Good description of FDR's history.
Another wonderful read about one of our great USA presidents, who truly fulfilled the definition of leadership. Certainly his New Deal has been considered controversial, however there is no doubt he lead the way out of the Great Depression, lead the USA in the global World War II on two sides of the planet, and gave his life in the service of his country. Just as his cousin TR, FDR was a very smart and brave man. This is another masterpiece biography by Jean Edward Smith!
He is the man who served in office the longest and once the most Presidential elections in history, he is most identifiable by his initials. FDR by Jean Edward Smith shows the life of the 32nd President of the United States from his birth in high society New York to his death just months before total victory in World War II.
From the outset Smith makes the reader aware Franklin Delano Roosevelt is one of the most written about of Presidents thus giving an indication that he will not do anything new but give a new generation of readers a straightforward look into Roosevelt’s life. Three-quarters of the book is Smith’s text with the final quarter being notes and an index, but during the biography proper Smith’s footnotes are in-depth and as interesting as what is in the text proper. Smith devotes a little over a third of the biography to Roosevelt’s life before his run for the 1932 Democratic nomination thus transitioning to focusing on the final 13 years of Roosevelt’s life. During that first third, Smith not only covers Roosevelt’s life but also foreshadows how his early political career in New York would later affect his entrance to Washington politics as Assistant Secretary of State and his later New York career as Governor. While in Washington Smith shows how Roosevelt learned the ways of the city that would come in handing once he assumed the Presidency. Once on the national stage, Smith gives the political backstories to campaigns and later to battles for legislation as well as the overall atmosphere of the Great Depression of the time. Yet while Smith devotes most of the biography to Roosevelt in the White House there is no really in-depthness like some books that devote themselves entirely to an individual’s Presidency and this is telling once the U.S. enters World War II as Smith essentially says ‘FDR did not micromanage the military once he made decision to an objective and left the generals do their thing’ while barely covering his relationship with Churchill.
FDR gives a detailed—but not in-depth—look at the life of the longest-serving President in the history of the United States. Jean Edward Smith writes in an engaging style for a very readable book but with wonderful footnotes that adds to the text. For a general biography this is a must read, but those looking for political or military details this is not.
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Wikipedia på engelska (12)
Acclaimed biographer Smith combines contemporary scholarship and a broad range of primary source material to narrate the epic life of the president who, more than any other individual, changed the relationship between the American people and their government. We see how Roosevelt's energy, intellect, and personal magnetism permitted him to master countless challenges. Smith recounts FDR's battles with polio and physical disability, and how they helped forge the resolve to surmount the turmoil of the Great Depression and the wartime threats. FDR's private life is also depicted, with close attention paid to the four women who molded his personality and helped to inform his worldview: His mother; his wife, Eleanor; Lucy Mercer, the great love of his life; and Missy LeHand, his secretary, companion, and confidante. Smith also tackles the failures and miscues of Roosevelt's public career. Smith gives us a clear picture of how this Knickerbocker aristocrat, a man who never had to depend on a paycheck, became the common man's president.--From publisher description.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)973.917092 — History and Geography North America United States 1901- Roosevelt Through Truman Administrations F.D. Roosevelt F.D. Roosevelt
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Good beginning to end biography of FDR. Though it literally just ends when he dies. No wrap up or epilogue to tie things up or anything.
I found some of the events covered to be more of a history play by play than giving much insight into what Roosevelt was thinking or why he was doing something. The first time I thought that was during the court packing incident. Later in during the war some of it played the same way. I don't know if this is just because we don't know what he was thinking or if it's because the author was trying to cover so much in one book.
My other nitpick with the book was the early focus on Eleanor and then pretty much abandoning what she is doing. In the first half of the book there are at least a couple of chapters devoted to her and what she is doing, FDR builds a house for Eleanor and two of her friends. Later in the book she isn't mentioned much. It is a book about FDR and Eleanor and him were living separate lives at that point so I suppose it makes some sense?
Overall I liked this book and it gave me insight into this vast span of time that FDR was president, the New Deal, the preparations for WWII and our actually entry into the war. ( )