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Publisher's Summary

Think FDR was a great president? Think again.

In the minds of historians and the American public alike, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of our greatest presidents, not least because he supposedly saved America from the Great Depression. But as historian Jim Powell reveals in this groundbreaking book, Roosevelt's New Deal policies actually prolonged and exacerbated the economic disaster, swelled the federal government, and prevented the country from turning around quickly.

In today's turbulent domestic and global environment, eerily similar to that of the 1930s, it's more important than ever before to uncover and understand the truth of our history, lest we be doomed to repeat it. You'll never look at FDR in the same way again.

©2003 Jim Powell; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Very readable, factual, and insightful - and endorsed by two Nobel Prize-winning economists." (Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very Important

Where does FDR's Folly rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I think this is a must listen or read. FDR is a hero and he should not be. We should learn the lessons he has to offer and not make the same mistakes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The thugs FDR had on the gov't payroll

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Educational but listen to the Abridged Version

This is an educational book that puts the various aspects of government great depression programs and regulations into perspective that wasn't covered in any detail during my school years. As you read, it's somewhat scary as many of today's political overtures are along the same lines of what was tried in the great depression era. I only gave this book a three star rating as much of the same main points were rpeated even though the author breaks out each aspect of government focus. I would suggest the abridged version hoping it reduces the amount of this repetition.

12 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • North Fremantle, Australia
  • 11-17-12

An entertaining wander through creative history

If a smart witty writer set out to write a satire on politically motivated mis-interpretation of history, a finer job would be hard to find. Attracted by the title, I approached this book expecting an exploration of how some of FDRs polices were exploited by carpet-baggers or possibly a comparison with later downturns, and how policies advocated, but never used in the great depression would have been more helpful.

Instead, this book is one of the greatest acts of revisionism I've ever seen. Making an assertion, then selecting information that makes the case. No comparison with the 1890s downturn is made, no facts contrary to the case admitted.

This book should be studied in schools as an example of creative writing.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

FDR's Folly

This book, along with The Forgotten Man, are timely reminders of what occurred when massive federal intervention is the economy was last tried. The narrator does a fine job. FDR's Folly is well deserving of a listener's time and attention.

15 of 28 people found this review helpful

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The truth is finally coming out

Have you ever looked at the amount of money you paid into Social Security and then how much you're going to get older? Thanks compare it to a savings account at the bank. You'll find the interest-rate is negative. When I first did this I was outraged.

That is how I began questioning FDR's policies. This book explains the rest

Some years ago, I read Atlas Shrugged and many of the characters seems like impossible characters. Now I know that some of the thinking and some direct quotes in the Atlas were taken from FDR and his advisors.

This book actually gave me hope because I see how much worse America was in terms of socialism 80 years ago.

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Excellent catalogue of Liberal idiocy

Would you consider the audio edition of FDR's Folly to be better than the print version?

I have not read the book, but the audio was very easy to listen to. The book is a full, generally factual catalogue of FDR's major mistakes with a good synopsis of who, what, when and why. The facts obliterate the false narrative that is still told today on how FDR saved us from the Depression. Jim Powell solidly supports allegations that FDR prolonged the Great Depression and made it much more severe. However, it's definitely one-sided and it doesn't claim to be otherwise. It doesn't give the whole context of FDR's actions and what the practical possibilities were of taking more Libertarian actions. If one only read this book on the Depression, one would think that FDR never did one thing right and would be utterly befuddled as to how FDR was elected FOUR times.Regardless, it is clear that FDR went way over the mark and was clueless on economics as all socialists are. I love Jim Powell's quote which sums up the underlying folly: “New Dealers always seemed to be comparing actual capitalism with ideal government. They judged capitalism by its apparent effects and government by its announced intentions”. Socialists do everything that they accuse capitalists of doing and much worse, but they will look you straight in the eye and based on their own self-righteous authority they will tell you it's okay because it's the government.

What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

The voice just seems to fit the type of narrative and is never annoying or tiring.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I could have.

Any additional comments?

Now I have to buy the book so I can remember and quote these comprehensive facts when I hear someone say how FDR saved us, which is really annoying. However, I also need to verify and study the facts in the context in which they occurred. I seriously doubt FDR was as terrible as this book tends to imply.

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History

What made the experience of listening to FDR's Folly the most enjoyable?

I have been recommending this book to every history buff I know. I really enjoyed it.

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Impressive compendium

This is a rigorous treatise on economic reality that disabused me of several historical fantasies that were taught to me as fact.

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The Complete Picture of FDR's Communist Philosophy

A great documentation of FDR's Progressive Policies and his attempts at manipulating the Constitution to implement his love of Socialism. This should be a mandatory read in High School.

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Scones for the Tea Party

Going into this book I expected to hear a new scholastic exposition upon the failings of the New Deal. Instead it was a Libertarian set piece on how the entire FDR administration efforts were machinations for re-election and to convert the American economy to Socialism! Every single New Deal policy was part of a malicious and devious plan to strip Americans of their individual liberties through increased taxation and larger government. According to the author capitalist free markets that are unconstrained by any regulation are the only historical economies to produce human progress. Any regulation, be it insurance on deposits, Social Security, or limitations on the sale of swamp property, all impede free markets! The book was written in 2002 and hasn't been updated to explain how FDR caused 2008.

15 of 31 people found this review helpful