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Newsweek senior editor Alter attempts to explore FDR's famous first "hundred days" in office, when the president laid the foundation for national recovery from the Great Depression. Eventually, Alter succeeds in providing a brief consideration of those key months. But exposition dominates: the early chapters recite Roosevelt's biography up until his White House candidacy (the well-known tale of privilege, marriage, adultery and polio). Then Alter chronicles the 1932 election and explores the postelection transition. Only about 130 pages deal with the 100 days commencing March , 1933, that the title calls FDR's "defining moment." Alter attaches much weight to a few throwaway phrases in a thrown-away draft of an early presidential speech—one that could, through a particular set of glasses, appear to show FDR giving serious consideration to adopting martial law in response to the monetary crisis. Despite this, Alter goes on to document FDR's early programs, pronouncements and maneuvers with succinct accuracy. The book, however, contains misstatements of historical detail (Alter suggests, for instance, that it was Theodore Roosevelt, rather than Ted Jr., who served as a founder of the American Legion). (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Chicago Tribune admires Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter's "chutzpah" in taking up the well-worn subject of FDR's presidency. Critics claim that Alter supports his major "breakthrough"that FDR toyed with martial lawwith the flimsiest of evidence: an early draft of his inaugural address. Alter is not a historian, as evidenced by some factual errors and elision, but what some critics describe as his sloppy research is overshadowed by a compelling portrait of the backroom Roosevelt, the one making deals and restoring the ideals of American democracy.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Ever be held hostage to a speaker that repeatedly says "To make a long story short" and makes the story longer? Read morePublished 2 days ago by Glenn D. Robinson
This book does exactly what author Jonathan Alter says he wants to do: Look closely at one slice of the immense, extensive and ground-breaking presidency of Franklin Delano... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Avid Reader
It was curious to note that Jonathan Alter's interest in FDR, like mine, began we he was in elementary school and did a report on our nation's longest-serving president. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bradley M. Johnson
Great book as far as what FDR did during his presidency. Just took a while to get to that portion of the book. Liked it but did t love it.Published 4 months ago by M. Kingsford
I did not expect much from this book but it far exceeded my expectations and I am not a Democrat. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Steve
Got the audio version. Very detailed and extensive coverage of FDR's political life leading up to the first 100 days. Nice wrap up at the end also.Published 5 months ago by mayberrycpy