SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace

Basic. Dec. 2017. 368p. illus. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9780465048717. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780465096510. BIOG
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OrangeReviewStarFranklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) remains one of the most popular presidents in 20th-century history. Many historians focus on the 32nd president's first 100 days, which set the standard for future administrations. Woolner (history, Marist Coll.; coeditor, Progressivism in America) is senior fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian at the Roosevelt Institute. Here, he uses his knowledge of Roosevelt to focus on the president's last three months in office. Roosevelt saw the country through the end of the Great Depression and the trials and eventual end of World War II. The author relays how the politician faced criticism in deciding to run for an unprecedented fourth term. Despite ongoing health issues, Roosevelt, who battled polio, remained determined to achieve his final goal: the creation of the United Nations. Woolner also recounts the president's journey to the Soviet Union for the Yalta Conference, where he met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin to discuss postwar peace. Even as Roosevelt sometimes failed to keep his vice president well informed, he worked daily to achieve his remaining goals.
VERDICT A balanced, readable book based on thorough archival sources that will have considerable appeal to historians and political scientists, as well as general readers interested in the presidency.

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