The Roosevelts

The Roosevelts

An Intimate History

Book - 2014 | First edition
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This companion volume to the PBS documentary distills more than thirty years of thinking and writing about the Roosevelts. Despite the fierce partisanship of their eras, the Roosevelts were far more united than divided. All the history the Roosevelts made is here, but this is primarily an intimate account, the story of three people who overcame obstacles that would have undone less forceful personalities. Theodore Roosevelt would push past childhood frailty, outpace depression, survive terrible grief -- and transform the office of the presidency. Eleanor Roosevelt, orphaned and alone as a child, would endure her husband's betrayal, battle her own self-doubts, and remake herself into the most consequential first lady in American history and the most admired woman on earth. And Franklin Roosevelt, born to privilege and so pampered that most of his youthful contemporaries dismissed him as a charming lightweight, would summon the strength to lead the nation through the two greatest crises since the Civil War, though he could not take a single step unaided. The three were towering personalities, but The Roosevelts shows that they were also flawed human beings who confronted in their personal lives issues familiar to all of us: anger and the need for forgiveness, courage and cowardice, confidence and self-doubt, loyalty to family and the need to be true to oneself.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307700230
Characteristics: xii, 503 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Burns, Ken 1953-


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Nov 04, 2014

Geoffrey Ward's companion book for the documentary series he did with Ken Burns on the three Roosevelts is insightful. It explores the dynamics, personalities, strengths, and flaws of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor, as well as their extended family. The backdrop of history they made in turn is unveiled as Ward goes along, and there's a wealth of photographs to accompany the text. The Kennedys are often thought of as America's political dynasty, but it's the Roosevelts who really deserve that title, giving two truly great presidents and the best First Lady of them all to the country. Required reading for anyone with an interest in the trio.


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