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Synopsis: This is the story of a political miracle—the perfect match of man and moment.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March of 1933 as America touched bottom. Banks were closing everywhere. Millions of people lost everything. The Great Depression had caused a national breakdown. With the craft of a master storyteller, Jonathan Alter brings us closer than ever before to the Roosevelt magic. Facing the gravest crisis since the Civil War, FDR used his cagey political instincts and ebullient temperament in the storied first Hundred Days of his presidency to pull off an astonishing conjuring act that lifted the country and saved both democracy and capitalism.
Who was this man? To revive the nation when it felt so hopeless took an extraordinary display of optimism and self-confidence. Alter shows us how a snobbish and apparently lightweight young aristocrat was forged into an incandescent leader by his domineering mother; his independent wife; his eccentric top adviser, Louis Howe; and his ally-turned-bitter-rival, Al Smith, the Tammany Hall street fighter FDR had to vanquish to complete his preparation for the presidency.
“Old Doc Roosevelt” had learned at Warm Springs, Georgia, how to lift others who suffered from polio, even if he could not cure their paralysis, or his own. He brought the same talents to a larger stage. Derided as weak and unprincipled by pundits, Governor Roosevelt was barely nominated for president in 1932. As president-elect, he escaped assassination in Miami by inches, then stiffed President Herbert Hoover's efforts to pull him into cooperating with him to deal with a terrifying crisis. In the most tumultuous and dramatic presidential transition in history, the entire banking structure came tumbling down just hours before FDR's legendary “only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Inaugural Address.
In a major historical find, Alter unearths the draft of a radio speech in which Roosevelt considered enlisting a private army of American Legion veterans on his first day in office. He did not. Instead of circumventing Congress and becoming the dictator so many thought they needed, FDR used his stunning debut to experiment. He rescued banks, put men to work immediately, and revolutionized mass communications with pioneering press conferences and the first Fireside Chat. As he moved both right and left, Roosevelt's insistence on "action now" did little to cure the Depression, but he began to rewrite the nation's social contract and lay the groundwork for his most ambitious achievements, including Social Security.
From one of America's most respected journalists, rich in insights and with fresh documentation and colorful detail, this thrilling story of presidential leadership—of what government is for—resonates through the events of today. It deepens our understanding of how Franklin Delano Roosevelt restored hope and transformed America.
The Defining Moment will take its place among our most compelling works of political history.
About the Author: Jonathan Alter is a weekly columnist for Bloomberg View and an analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. For nearly three decades, he wrote for Newsweek, where he authored more than 50 cover stories. He has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Vanity Fair and many other publications. Alter lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and three children.
Title: The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2007
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Book Condition: Good. 1 Edition. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP2658681
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Book Condition: Good. 1 Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP87337297
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Book Condition: Very Good. 1 Edition. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP2376636
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Book Condition: Good. 1 Edition. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP9925745
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Sent within 24 hours. Expedited UK delivery available. Bookseller Inventory # BBI2360416
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2756296106
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: GOOD. Gently used may contain ex-library markings, possibly has some minor highlighting, textual notations, and or underlining. Text is still easily readable. Bookseller Inventory # 2796903361
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Bookseller Inventory # 2796904071
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: GOOD. Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2796903974
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2800103189