Sunday, July 25, 2010

Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt What Made Him Great Short Book

Tags: Presidents, FDR, Hoover, W. Bush, Obama, FDR Short Book, Comparisons, Strengths, Weaknesses

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Alan Brinkley, December 2009, Oxford University Press, 128 pages, $12.95 list.

According to Brinkley, President Obama is extremely poor in communicating to the public, but he does have the problem with the Right Wing corporate radio, corporate television, and Press, and does not enjoy politics. Roosevelt was superb communicator and loved politics. Obama is known as someone with a high intellect, Roosevelt was not, but he loved working with both friends and opponents. He is not a people person, and selected superb advisors. He spent most of his life alone, even at Columbia. Obama picked his advisors and cabinet whom he did not know well except for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden with the exception of his Chicago campaign staff. Americans should be praising President Obama for passing bills with close to 100% lack of cooperation. Should we vote against the Democrats for the problems that took at least 8 years for the Bush Republicans to develop? He passed a comprehensive Healthcare Bill that no other President succeeded, even Franklin D. Roosevelt who did not try!

President Herbert Clark Hoover (1929-33). He was trained in geology but his major accomplishments were managing engineering projects. He was both a humanitarian Food relief in China and Russia and served as Secretary of Commerce in both the Harding and Coolidge and some historians consider him to be the best Commerce Secretary ever. After presiding as Secretary of Commerce over the laissez faire economic times in the 1920s in a similar to George W. Bush, Harding worried about the deficit and cut the budget in the same manner the Republicans now want to do.

Brinkley said unless Obama acted, we would now be in a Depression without a doubt. In a recession or Depression tax revenues drop sharply so deficits go up naturally. The Republicans want to do the same thing Hoover did to "help" our economy. The inexperienced PM in the UK and too many in Europe want to practice Hooverism now too!

I hope they understand and act on what history has made clear about what to do. He defined Liberal as a person or group that wants to empower the people so government and corporations cannot make our country similar to feudal times where the rich own everything worth owning.

Maybe we are getting back to the good old bad days unless we vote to help ourselves. Governments and the people who run them are far from perfect human beings and we saw with Bush that it does matter whom we elect to Congress and the President. We got the Great Depression from Hoover.

Roosevelt served as assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Wilson and served through World War I. In 1921 he got polio which paralyzed his legs. From 1921 to 1928 he worked in a law firm and a vice president of a bank. He served two terms as Governor of New York from 1929 to 1933 while the country was going to hell under Hoover.

At the 1933 Democratic convention he was behind #1 Garner and #2 McAdoo who was planning to throw his votes to Garner so he could win the nomination, but with # 3 Roosevelt’s political skills and some skullduggery, he got the votes and won the election over Hoover by a landslide. Unfortunately the Supreme Court was similar to the Roberts/Scalia corporate Supreme Court now and they tried hard to stop the New Deal.

Wall Street’s J.P. Morgan tried to convince a War hero Medal of Honor recipient Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler to join his effort to overthrow the President by slaughtering the huge number of unemployed workers demonstrating for jobs there. Instead Butler informed Congress of the plot and wrote a very short book which was republished a few years ago by his children’s family.

War is a Racket in 1935. Excerpt from very short book: I Spent 33 Year in the Marines, Most of My Time Being a High-class Muscle Man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the Bankers. In Short, I was a Racketeer for Capitalism. My how things remain the same!

Jim Kawakami, July 25, 2010,

Alan Brinkley is Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University, where he served as Provost from 2003-2009. He has published numerous books, including the National Book Award-winning Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, (Very influential anti-Semitic racist priest and radio talk show host) and the Great Depression; The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War ; and Liberalism and Its Discontents.


"Alan Brinkley's incisive and eloquent biography of FDR clarifies what he achieved and what he did not. Brinkley brings deep knowledge of Roosevelt and the New Deal to help readers understand why Roosevelt's was arguably the most important presidency of the twentieth century."--Lizabeth Cohen, Bancroft Prize-winning author of Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939

Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt What Made Him Great Short Book

This brilliant, compact biography chronicles Franklin Delano Roosevelt's rise from a childhood of privilege to a presidency that forever changed the face of international diplomacy, the American party system, and the government's role in global and domestic policy.

Alan Brinkley, the National Book Award-winning New Deal historian, provides a clear, concise introduction to Roosevelt's sphinx-like character and remarkable achievements. In a vivid narrative packed with telling anecdotes, the book moves swiftly from Roosevelt's youth in upstate New York--characterized by an aristocratic lifestyle of trips to Europe and private tutoring--to his schooling at Harvard, his brief law career, and his initial entry into politics.

From there, Brinkley chronicles Roosevelt's rise to the presidency, a position in which FDR remained until death, through an unparalleled three-plus terms in office. Throughout the book, Brinkley elegantly blends FDR's personal life with his professional one, providing a lens into the President's struggles with polio and his somewhat distant relationship with the First Lady, Eleanor.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the United States through the worst economic crisis in the nation's history and through the greatest and most terrible war ever recorded. His extraordinary legacy remains alive in our own troubled new century as a reminder of what bravery and strong leadership can accomplish.


  • The only short biography of FDR on the market
  • Written by renowned, award-winning author Alan Brinkley
  • Timely subject: Makes clear Roosevelt's influence on the current administration, including handling of financial crises
  • The successes and failures of the New Deal succinctly and eloquently chronicled
  • Attractive package at affordable price
  • Engaging biography for the non-specialist or a student in need of a quick refresher …

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