James D. Bratt

Jan 23, 2020

A Christian and a Democrat

A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Eerdmans 2019

purchase at bookshop.org Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when asked at a press conference about the roots of his political philosophy, responded simply, “I am a Christian and a Democrat.” This new book is the story of how the first informed the second—how his upbringing in the Episcopal Church and matriculation at the Groton School under legendary educator and minister Endicott Peabody molded Roosevelt into a leader whose politics were fundamentally shaped by the Social Gospel. A work begun by religious historian John Woolverton (1926-2014) and recently completed by James D. Bratt, A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Eerdmans, 2019) is an engaging analysis of the surprisingly spiritual life of one of the most consequential presidents in US history. Reading Woolverton’s account of FDR’s response to the toxic demagoguery of his day will reassure readers today that a constructive way forward is possible for Christians, for Americans, and for the world.
Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD in American religious history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author of William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018). He has taught history courses at the University of Detroit Mercy and Florida Atlantic University, and currently, he works as a research archivist for a private library/archive in Detroit, Michigan.

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