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)
One of the best
Although a history buff, I learned things about this great man I never knew.
I'm a semi-retired professional, filling my time now as an adjunct instructor of computer applications for Clark State Community College.
Unless Cashman is the performer on a book I just have to have, I will avoid him in the future. He has a style that I found truly annoying. He uses an upward inflection at the end of a high percentage of the sentences instead of a downward period inflection. That makes the reading sound surprised or excited, a little of which would be okay, but it seemed like that inflection was used on about 85 percent of the book. To be fair, I teach reading aloud techniques and I will send students to the sample of this book to illustrate how annoying the persistent use of upward inflection is.
I loved learning about FDR's relationship with Stalin and Churchill during WW2. The last 10 hours of the book were some of the most interesting history I've ever read. The author describes a particular conference in Teheran that had me laughing out load at times.
Churchill: England is getting pinker.
Stalin: It is a sign of good health.
Churchill: I drink to the proletarian masses.
Stalin: I drink to the conservative party.
Churchill: I believe that god is on our side. At least I have done my best to make him a faithful ally.
Stalin: And the devil is on my side. Everyone knows that the devil is a communist, and God, no doubt, is a good conservative.
I listened at 1.5 speed and found the narrator's voice pleasant and engaging.
I only have one complaint: the biography ended very abruptly with FDR's death. Nothing about his funeral (I wanted to know which world leaders attended, etc), nothing about Eleanor's reaction, or their children's reactions. Also, nothing about FDR's enduring legacy. And not even a sentence about the end of the war. I also expected to hear more about the 22nd amendment, since FDR's 4 elections and 3 terms in office are so extraordinary in US history.
Other than these missing pieces, I thought this biography was nearly perfect. I literally enjoyed every minute of it.
the author does a fantastic job of telling the story and finishing bits and pieces of each story before moving on to different aspects of FDR's Legacy. some of the other reviews here criticized the method in which she tells the story but I found it to be fantastic.
This book illustrated the life of FDR in great detail. He was by far the best president this country has ever had and it was a pleasure learning about his life. All 33 hours were well worth it.
Only negative: there was a chapter based solely on the election process which got dry after a while.
I couldn't stop listening. It's a fantastic insight into one of the greatest leaders the world has ever had. If I found fault it at all then the early days and university years are skipped over quite fast, but then most reading this want to get beyond childhood quickly!
This biography gives one great story with a flow you wouldn't believe. There is enough technical information given for the average listener to understand, but not too much for excellent comprehension.
Narrator is great. I highly recommend for those interested in FDR, The Great Depression, or WWII.
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.
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