A sweeping, magisterial biography of the man generally considered the greatest president of the twentieth century, admired by Democrats and Republicans alike. Traitor to His Class sheds new light on FDR's formative years, his remarkable willingness to champion the concerns of the poor and disenfranchised, his combination of political genius, firm leadership, and matchless diplomacy in saving democracy in America during the Great Depression and the American cause of freedom in World War II.
Drawing on archival materials, public speeches, personal correspondence, and accounts by family and close associates, acclaimed bestselling historian and biographer H. W. Brands offers a compelling and intimate portrait of Roosevelt's life and career.
Brands explores the powerful influence of FDR's dominating mother and the often tense and always unusual partnership between FDR and his wife, Eleanor, and her indispensable contributions to his presidency. Most of all, the book traces in breathtaking detail FDR's revolutionary efforts with his New Deal legislation to transform the American political economy in order to save it, his forceful—and cagey—leadership before and during World War II, and his lasting legacy in creating the foundations of the postwar international order.
Traitor to His Class brilliantly captures the qualities that have made FDR a beloved figure to millions of Americans.
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by H.W. Brands
"The only person ever elected to four terms as president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office during the Great Depression, and extended his reign well into WWII. Mark Deakins presents the detailed biographical material with a mixture of scholarly detachment and involved interest. When quoting dialogue or speeches by the president, he convincingly conveys the man's patrician pronunciations and tone, as preserved in recordings. Deakins uses the same approach for Churchill, and one wonders if the two leaders really tried to "out-pomposify" each other. Matters of historical significance receive appropriate gravity in Deakins's performance, while Roosevelt's younger years and personal life receive a lighter touch. One can't help but reflect on the parallels between the Roosevelt years and our own time. R.L.L. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"
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