Book description

Book info

Author
Title
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherBack Bay Books
File size7.2 Mb
GanreBiography
Release date 02.04.1991
ISBN9780316292610
Pages count710
Book rating4.17 (66 votes)
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Frank Freidel has written a pretty good book about one of our most complex and admired presidents, but it certainly is not exhaustive. Freidel goes a good job explaining the who, what, where and when, but leaves out the all-important "why" in many of FDR's decisions. I would have loved to read more of FDR's thought processes and what went into his various judgments, especially at the all-important "Big 3" meetings at Tehran and Yalta. For instance, in David McCullough's Pulitzer-Prize winning tome, "Truman," we get plenty of meat on Truman's thoughts during the Potsdam conference - words from his diaries, notes to subordinates, etc. McCullough gives readers dozens and dozens of pages on Truman's analysis and thought processes during the critical conference. In contrast, readers really don't get terrific, exhaustive details in Freidel's book, and it's a letdown. These details separate a good presidential biography from a great one.

However, this is not a horrible book by any stretch. The author offers readers plenty about the 1932 election, FDR's disastrous attempt to pack the Supreme Court, his thoughts and actions following Pearl Harbor, FDR's wartime strategy on the home front, his four presidential elections and even his death on April 12, 1945. Freidel covers the milestones of FDR's presidency well, but the devil is in the details. While I have not yet read Conrad Black's mammoth 1,200-page bio on FDR, one would hope it goes deeper than Freidel's 600-page tome. This book is recommended as a starter for beginners to understand and study FDR. (Orig. Review - Nov. '04)

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