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The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great Hardcover – April 8, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"No one has ever loved a nation more or spanked it harder for straying from its premise than Harvey Kaye. Read The Fight for the Four Freedoms. It contains the historical truths that will set America free." (Norman Lear, TV Writer-Producer; Founder People for the American Way)

"Harvey Kaye is the Indiana Jones of American historians. He claws his way into the past and returns with lost treasures. The Fight for the Four Freedoms is great history, as we've come to expect from Kaye. It tells a story that cannot be forgotten, of a visionary president and the generation he inspired to renew America and save the world. But it is, as well, a roadmap that can get this country off its long detour and back on the path FDR charted toward that freer, more equal and democratic America." (John Nichols, Washington Correspondent, The Nation)

“The Fight for The Four Freedoms reminds us that victory in World War II was measured not just in the defeat of America’s enemies, but also in securing the great progressive legacy of Franklin Roosevelt and the Greatest Generation: freedom from fear and want, freedom of speech and religion. As Kaye forcefully demonstrates, to safeguard, indeed broaden these freedoms is a challenge handed down to each later generation. This is a book by a patriot who invites his readers to share, to remember, to act and to be unafraid.” (William vanden Heuvel, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Founder and Chair Emeritus, The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute)

"Timely and inspiring" (Lynn Parramore, Senior Editor, AlterNet)

"Harvey Kaye has done it again. The Fight for the Four Freedoms reaches back into history - to Franklin Roosevelt's vision of a truly just and fair America - for inspiration about how we can re-imagine a progressive future. Just as he did with his important work on Thomas Paine, Kaye shows how the victories and defeats of the 1930s and 1940s - the struggle of our parents and grandparents - contain the bricks and straw for rebuilding democracy. Once again, he tells a spirited story written for you and me." (Bill Moyers)

"A spirited call to remember and act on the original progressive intent of Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms." (Kirkus)

“If you believe America desperately needs a great surge of democracy in the face of fierce opposition from reactionary and corporate forces, then remembering and reviving the spirit of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died 69 years ago this week, is in order.” (Moyers & Company)

“[A] rousing and readable history cum manifesto….In Kaye’s fierce vision, the Four Freedoms are not only a corrective lens through which to assess recent American history but also a vital promise, an urgent challenge, and a way forward.” (Rachel Cox Washington Independent Review of Books.)

“Kaye’s book will stir its intended audience, while illustrating what astute politicians and historians recognize: Political struggle is as much a battle over our past as it is over our present and future.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“[A] marvelous history lesson.” (The Oklahoman)

About the Author

Harvey J. Kaye is the Ben & Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, an award-winning author of numerous books, including Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and The Daily Beast, and a repeat guest on radio and television programs such as To the Best of Our Knowledge, the Thom Hartmann Show, and Bill Moyers' Journal.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451691432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451691436
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harvey J. Kaye is the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. An award-winning author, Kaye has published fifteen books on history, politics, and ideas, contributed articles and essays to a diverse array of publications, including the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, Salon.com, and Huffington Post, and appeared as a guest on numerous television and radio programs, including "Bill Moyers Journal," BookTV's "After Words," "Here and Now," and "The Thom Hartmann Show."

Born in New Jersey, Kaye received his B.A. at Rutgers (1971), his M.A. at the University of London (1973), and his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University (1976). He is a member of the National Writers Union, AFT, and PEN, and an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer (2007-2013). Kaye lives with his wife Lorna in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they raised two daughters and root for the Packers. His newest book - The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great - was published by Simon & Schuster in 2014.

Watch Harvey J Kaye on Bill Moyers Journal January 2008: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01182008/watch2.html
and again in June 2009: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06122009/watch2.html

Watch Harvey J Kaye on Thom Hartmann's Conversations with Great Minds January 2011 http://www.conversationswithgreatminds.com/video/conversations-great-minds-professor-harvey-kaye-pt-1
and
http://www.conversationswithgreatminds.com/video/conversations-great-minds-professor-harvey-kaye-pt-2

Watch Harvey J Kaye on Moyers and Company April 2014
http://billmoyers.com/episode/fighting-for-the-four-freedoms/

Watch Harvey J Kaye on MSNBC The Cycle
http://www.msnbc.com/the-cycle/watch/examining-the-progressivism-of-fdr-223685699801

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Artyess on April 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful book, beautifully written, about the American Democracy. It is a book that every American and anyone who doubts the resolve of the American system and its people's drive for democracy and equality, should read. I am 81 years old and I remember it all. Get it! Read it! I have never been so proud of my American Heritage. We could use another FDR!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By gene jones on April 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Professor’s Kaye’s book, The Fight for the Four Freedoms, reminds us why we honor the greatest generation.
No doubt our parents and grandparents earned the exalted appellation, The Greatest Generation, for defeating fascism and dictatorship in WWII although that cohort accomplished much more that is forgotten, or suppressed. Professor Kaye sets out those achievements in detail. More importantly, he points out that the greatest generation had an unquenchable optimism that they, the people, could bring to fruition the promise of America, a democratic country with ubiquitous freedom of speech and religion and a land unburdened from want and fear.
As Professor Kaye notes so well, President Franklin Roosevelt articulated these ideals in a common sense fashion so that the greatest generation internalized them with an intensity that motivated them to confront the depression, win WWII, and fight for the four freedoms.
Long before the greatest generation vanquished the fascists and imperialists, the American people confronted the Great Depression and an economic system rigged against them by oligarchs and powerful corporations. Unfortunately, the present generation takes for granted the hard won victories that have made the American people more secure and more prosperous like social security, unemployment insurance, and the right to bargain collectively.
During the depression, our government responded to the economic disaster with programs to help people and to maintain long term economic stability. Professor Kaye details the many creative agencies and policies that gave people hope in the face of unemployment, homelessness, and starvation.
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Format: Hardcover
‘The Fight for the Four Freedoms’ written by Harvey J. Kaye is a book that draws parallels between the current situation in America with those in US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and whole country found themselves in 1941 – in both time periods it seemed that the situation was difficult, but not hopeless, except that history teaches us that the first time we succeeded while for the second time remains to be found a way to get out of this demanding and challenging situation.

Kaye references to four freedoms that Roosevelt mentioned in his Annual Message to Congress back in 1941 – the first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world, the second is freedom of every person to practice any religion in his or her own way everywhere in the world, the third is right of every nation to secure healthy peacetime life for its citizens and last, at first glance controversial, but absolutely correct freedom from fear that would mean reduction of armaments that no nation will be in position to attack or endanger existence of his neighbor.

Exactly with these words the author brings back the memory of those times saying that we need to remember who Americans are - pointing his message, or even critique, to both conservatives and liberals – the descendants of those people who have a history of defending the values at which the U.S. was established, defending the country and the ideals of freedom from internal and external enemies through the centuries.

Therefore, ‘The Fight for the Four Freedoms’ is an inspiring book and interesting look at the causes, but more importantly suggestion of possible exits of the social, but more importantly the moral and spiritual crisis in which we as a society fell in - so Harvey J. Kaye’s work can be fully recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nomi M. Prins on April 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In The Fight for the Four Freedoms, professor, historian and patriot, Harvey J. Kaye pens an inspiring account of a critical time in American history, inspired by the important premise outlined by FDR that: “Freedom from want and from fear; Freedom of speech and religion” were crucial principals for all American citizens.

Depicting the battles that FDR so valiantly fought to make America’s “Greatest Generation” gain greater personal liberties and economic equality, Kaye shows us valiant political leadership in action in the post World War II period of the twentieth century. Tracing the decline of that vision and American promise from the Reagan administration in the 1980s through the current Obama administration (Kaye describes Obama as “not asking too much of America” but “asking too little”) Kaye examines the epic failure in today’s political process and elected leadership that has reduced overall financial security and individual freedoms for the general public.

Comparing the strides that FDR made for the country with the weak and anti-visionary maneuvers of recent presidencies, Kaye shows that the way out and upward for the population lies in our past, and that if don’t examine and augment the positive elements of that past, we are doomed to continue our current path of divergence from those Four Freedoms. This book is a must-read story of what we should all be fighting for today.
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