Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life by Robert DallekA one-volume biography of Roosevelt by the #1 New York Times bestselling biographer of JFK, focusing on his career as an incomparable politician, uniter, and deal maker
In an era of such great national divisiveness, there could be no more timely biography of one of our greatest presidents than one that focuses on his unparalleled political ability as a uniter and consensus maker. Robert Dallek’s Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life takes a fresh look at the many compelling questions that have attracted all his biographers: how did a man who came from so privileged a background become the greatest presidential champion of the country’s needy? How did someone who never won recognition for his intellect foster revolutionary changes in the country’s economic and social institutions? How did Roosevelt work such a profound change in the country’s foreign relations?
For FDR, politics was a far more interesting and fulfilling pursuit than the management of family fortunes or the indulgence of personal pleasure, and by the time he became president, he had commanded the love and affection of millions of people. While all Roosevelt’s biographers agree that the onset of polio at the age of thirty-nine endowed him with a much greater sense of humanity, Dallek sees the affliction as an insufficient explanation for his transformation into a masterful politician who would win an unprecedented four presidential terms, initiate landmark reforms that changed the American industrial system, and transform an isolationist country into an international superpower.
Dallek attributes FDR’s success to two remarkable political insights. First, unlike any other president, he understood that effectiveness in the American political system depended on building a national consensus and commanding stable long-term popular support. Second, he made the presidency the central, most influential institution in modern America’s political system. In addressing the country’s international and domestic problems, Roosevelt recognized the vital importance of remaining closely attentive to the full range of public sentiment around policy-making decisions—perhaps FDR’s most enduring lesson in effective leadership.
Franklin Roosevelt ***
Franklin D. Roosevelt Fast Facts
Roosevelt had quite the resume. As a result, he is usually listed as one of the three greatest presidents of all time, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And yet, despite his lionized image, Roosevelt was an ordinary man with flaws of his own, and some of his lesser-known misdeeds leave a bit of a stench around his legacy. Did his accomplishments outweigh the flaws? Roosevelt is famous for requiring a wheelchair during his Presidency. He even taught himself to walk short distances with the help of iron braces and a cane. He would also lean on people while forcing himself to stand.
A member of the Democratic Party , he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression , implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition , which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II , which ended shortly after he died in office. He is rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U. In , he married his fifth cousin once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Roosevelt was distantly related to both his wife and 11 other presidents. An only child with maternal roots dating back to the Mayflower, Franklin D. Roosevelt spent a privileged childhood in Hyde Park, New York, prior to attending an elite Massachusetts boarding school. He then enrolled in Harvard College, where he began courting another Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor, his fifth cousin once removed as well as the niece and goddaughter of his fifth cousin, then-President Theodore Roosevelt, whom FDR greatly admired. When the couple married in , Theodore Roosevelt took a break from his White House duties to give Eleanor away in lieu of her deceased father. He had little love for the law. After Harvard, FDR went on to Columbia Law School, where he promptly flunked contracts and civil procedure and had to make up the classes over the summer.
To remember FDR, who profoundly changed America with his New Deal we're taking a look at some fascinating facts about his life and legacy.
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What are some interesting and important facts about his presidency? And what are some cool, fun facts about the man?
Today is the birthday of the only person to run for, and win, the presidency four times: Franklin D. And how was young Franklin related to President Theodore Roosevelt? The men were fifth cousins, so they had the same great-great-great-great-grandparents. In this case, the distant relative was Nicholas Roosevelt, who lived from to Young Franklin was also related to his own wife. Since her father had passed away, Eleanor was walked down the aisle on her wedding day in by the president himself, Uncle Teddy. Young Franklin also reportedly had a hard time adjusting to school.
Roosevelt guided the United States through challenging times. He sought to help the American people in many different ways, including creating social safety nets for the elderly and the unemployed. In a speech to Congress, he said that "I place the security of the men, women and children of the Nation first. Let's learn more about the man behind these impressive achievements. FDR had a half-brother. He was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt, but he was not, however, his father's only child. James did have a much older son, also named James, from his first marriage to Rebecca Brien Howland.