Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life

Viking. Nov. 2017. 704p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780525427902. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780698181724. BIOG
OrangeReviewStarPresidential historian Dallek follows up his well-received An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 with his third and most comprehensive work on Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) to date. After briefly covering Roosevelt's college years and early political career, the book chronologically recounts the politician's greatest challenges, including trying presidential elections and the years leading up to and during World War II. Dallek's familiarity with his subject and deep understanding of American history and context shines in his clear and engaging prose. The author keeps his focus almost entirely on Roosevelt's political life. For example, a chapter on the leader's struggles with polio is also cast in a political light. There is less information on his life with wife Eleanor and his extended family. Although lengthy, the narrative manages to move quickly through a dense subject; readers will gain a solid sense of Roosevelt's political mind and an inspiring appreciation of his mighty character.
VERDICT This highly recommended, expertly crafted book will please a variety of readers, especially those interested in biographies as well as presidential, military, and American history.

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