Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Detailed History of FDR From His Early Political Career to the Fall of France During WWII

Although FDR left no detailed memoir giving the reasons for his political decisions, Daniels has captured his words and used them in the context of events to give us a picture of what FDR thought. The book opens with a brief view of Franklin's early life, but the concentration is on his political career. While I had read several biographies of Roosevelt, this is the first one to go in depth about his early office holding. I found it instructive in light of his later political ideas including the New Deal.

I also found it fascinating to read about how FDR was able to control the information about his polio and was able to act as normal as possible. It's enlightening to see how he about how he overcame his affliction.

On the positive side, this is a very detailed, perhaps definitive, look at FDR. Because there is so much detail from quotes to actions to what other historians have said about him, it is a sometime difficult book to read. However, if you're interested in a comprehensive history, this is it.

On the negative side, because the book is crammed with historical detail it is sometimes hard to read. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're interested in becoming immersed in FDRs life.

The book ends before the US enters WWII. Although the transitions seems rather abrupt when you've been following the history closely, it leaves you wanting to go more in depth into the next segment of FDRs career.

If you enjoy history, this is an extremely well done book. I highly recommend it.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.