This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details. We see how Roosevelt's restless energy, fierce intellect, personal magnetism, and ability to project effortless grace permitted him to master countless challenges throughout his life. Smith recounts FDR's personal battles and also tackles head-on and in depth the numerous failures and miscues of Roosevelt's political career.
Summing up Roosevelt's legacy, Smith gives us the clearest picture yet of how this quintessential Knickerbocker aristocrat became the common man's president. The result is a powerful account that adds fresh perspectives and draws profound conclusions about a man whose story is widely known but not well understood. Written for the general reader and scholars alike, FDR is a stunning biography in every way worthy of its subject.
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©2007 Jean Edward Smith; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"A magisterial biography...the author's eloquent synthesis of FDR's complex and compelling life is remarkably executed and a joy to read." (Publishers Weekly)
A work of historical magnificence - a masterpiece. Beautifully balanced, with a good amount dedicated to FDR's early years. The writer seemed very much a fan of FDR - it was hard not to be by the end of the work - and there were perhaps areas that could have been more critically examined, but they do not detract from what is a superb biography of probably one of the three or four most significant men of the last 200 years.
Beautifully narrated, Mark Cashman got the tone of this tome down perfectly.
Making my way through all the US President a biography at a time.
Jean Edward Smith is an excellent biographer weaving insightful story about who FDR is - the good & the bad. He constructs the story thoroughly and though perhaps too rapidly goes through WWII - he perhaps does so wisely as we know FDR so well by this point that we could understand how he'd approach the situations he faced. Smith presents analysis by other biographers (eg Kearns Goodwin) bring there insights and his reflections on those in a way that has an academic quality but in a style that never slows or feels forced in the story's flow. The narrator also does an excellent job bring the words to life. I was not looking forward to FDR's biography as reading other historical accounts he seemed highly manipulative - the truth is he probably was but it was the only course left to him early on and it was a hallmark of FDR latter in life. FDR is worthy of a multi volume tale but this is succinct and highly insightful for those wanting to better understand FDR.
Absolutely. The story of FDR is extremely inspirational and enjoyable. I found many of his speeches humorous and this man's character was astonishing.
The first 100 days of his presidency.
The narrator wasn't anything special but I did enjoy his voice. The only qualm I have with this title is how it didn't cover FDR's legacy or the events immediately following his death. For such a happy and cheerful man, his biography ended on a sad note :(
Say something about yourself!
No. I like them both for different reasons. Research requires the print version. Since I drive a lot, the audio version is enjoyable and informative.
My favorite character was FDR. Because, that is the reason I read the book.
Smith's account of FDR's early years, his family history, the run-up to the attack on Pearl.
depiction of FDR's character
reliable but dull in places
FDR: a public life
writing was workmanlike but lacked inspiration in places.
I liked the book overall, but I would have liked a little more detail on some of the stuff that you aren't going to read about in most histories of the period.
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