Although commonly regarded as one of the three or four greatest Presidents and certainly the greatest of the 20th century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt has...

Although commonly regarded as one of the three or four greatest Presidents and certainly the greatest of the 20th century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt has not had as much attention devoted to his life, as many of the Presidents who came after him.  That egregious oversight, has now been remedy by virtue of premier historian, and past winner of the Bancroft award Robert Dallek’s new study, titled Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life (Viking, 2017). Dallek’s book takes us from Roosevelt’s sheltered and upper-class upbringing to his career as a precocious politician, navy administrator and Vice-Presidential candidate.  Dallek in extremely readable prose shows how the snobbish and sometimes facile Roosevelt was changed for the better by his struggle with polio at the age of 39.  With his being on the shelf politically speaking during most of the 1920’s, Dallek recounts how Roosevelt climbed from the Governorship of New York to being elected President of a Depression-haunted America in 1932. With the New Deal, Dallek comes into his own in delineating how Roosevelt was able to successfully handle the two greatest challenges offered-up to any American President: recovery from the Great Depression and subsequently Total War.  Dallek’s book enables the lay educated reader to understand why Franklin Delano Roosevelt is indeed one of our greatest Presidents.  The author of twenty books, Robert Dallek won the Bancroft Prize for his book Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy.  He was elected President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and was named to the prestigious Harmsworth Professorship of American History at Oxford.


Charles Coutinho holds a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

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