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  • The Revolution of ’28

  • Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal
  • By: Robert Chiles
  • Narrated by: Peter Lerman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

The Revolution of ’28 explores the career of New York governor and 1928 Democratic presidential nominee Alfred E. Smith. Robert Chiles peers into Smith’s work and uncovers a distinctive strain of American progressivism that resonated among urban, ethnic, working-class Americans in the early 20th century. The book charts the rise of that idiomatic progressivism during Smith’s early years as a state legislator through his time as governor of the Empire State in the 1920s, before proceeding to a revisionist narrative of the 1928 presidential campaign.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Al Smith paved the way for FDR

  • By Chester on 10-27-18

Lerman owns it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-04-18

If you like to get your history from the Wikipedia summary, this nearly 12 hour work will not be for you. But if you like your history researched, documented and thoughtfully analyzed and contextualized - and humanized - you may find this to your liking. At a time when women's suffrage and government "interference" to limit child labor and abominable working conditions were hot button items, and Progressives were accused of trying to usher communism into the U.S., Al Smith rose from the Lower East Side to improve the conditions of the less privileged. He had a knack for creating alliances among constituencies with some common goals as "The Happy Warrior." From street runner for Tammany Hall (where he learned but never became beholden) to State Assemblyman to Sheriff to multi-term Governor of the State of New York, he advanced Progressive causes, working through the Democratic Party. This ascendancy hit a brick wall when he was defeated for the Presidency of the United States by Herbert Hoover in 1928. His return to business just before the Great Depression and his break with FDR over New Deal policies, and later the death of his wife, all led to a sad ending to the story of The Happy Warrior. Sad, but a lifew well worth studying and appreciating today, when the concept of inspired and inspiring leadership has suffered so. This was a most rewarding listen.

Narrator Peter Lerman has just the right mix of energy and emotion, informing a straightforward presentation of facts that are complex and fascinating. He is so easy to listen to. Like all good narrators, I sometimes forgot that the voice I was hearing was not that of the author. I have no idea what the author "sounds like" when he speaks. I am referring to "owning the story." Lerman owns it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful