We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Video: "Frasnklin D. Roosevelt," 1 hr 17 min

by Robert Dallek Monday, Jan. 01, 2018 at 11:28 PM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Historian Robert Dallek examined the political acumen of President Franklin D. Roosevelt throughout his four presidential terms.

to watch the interview with historian Robert Dallek from Dec 5, 2017, click on

https://www.c-span.org/video/?438138-1/franklin-d-roosevelt

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

A Political Life

By Robert Dallek

679 pp. Viking.

Franklin Roosevelt’s Story Is Worth Telling Again and Again

By DAVID NASAW

Dec. 8, 2017

Americans have been avid readers of presidential biographies since the birth of the nation. The first was written by Mason Weems, a traveling bookseller and preacher, and published in 1800, three years after George Washington left office. It was an immediate best seller. In the years to come, another 1,900 Washington biographies would be published. Since 1960, the number of presidential biographies has mushroomed: more than 2,200 of Abraham Lincoln, almost 1,200 of John F. Kennedy, 800 of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Of them all, it is perhaps Roosevelt who has been best served by his biographers, though the task of telling his life story has never been an easy one. He occupied office too long, accomplished too much, failed too often and was confronted by not only the greatest domestic crisis since the Civil War, but also the greatest foreign crisis since the Revolution.

Born to wealth, with a cousin in the White House while he was at Harvard, Roosevelt was a natural politician: physically attractive, intellectually quick and witty, with a fine speaking voice, upright posture, charisma and charm. At 28, he was elected to the New York State Senate; at 31, appointed assistant secretary of the Navy; at 38, nominated by the Democratic Party for the vice presidency. A year later, having contracted polio, he lost the use of his legs, forever. He could not hide his disability, but he could and did shield its severity and effects from the public and, perhaps, from himself. He was elected governor of New York in 1928, re-elected in 1930. He would win election to the presidency in 1932 and re-election in 1936, 1940 and 1944.

Such are the outlines of the public life. But what of the private? His marriage was a disaster. In September 1918, Eleanor, unpacking his luggage after a trip abroad, discovered love letters from Lucy Mercer, her social secretary. She offered Franklin a divorce, but did not demand one. The two would remain together — as political partners, but not as husband and wife. There would be several other women in his life, including Daisy Suckley, his cousin, closest companion and confidante during his years as president. At her death in 1991, at age 99, a trove of personal diaries and letters from Franklin were found under her bed. Until these materials were made available to researchers, the portrait that Roosevelt had cultivated during his life, one largely accepted by his biographers, was of a man gilded with optimism, unflappable, self-composed, self-confident. His letters to Daisy — and her diary entries — portray someone quite different: a man tired and weary, disheartened by the virulence of his critics, dismayed by the enormousness of the challenges he faced, unsure of his capacities to bear the burdens of office.

How to make sense of this life? How does one connect the dots, find the through-line, locate the man beneath the carefully constructed public persona? Several of his greatest biographers set out to tell the full story, but were nearly overcome by the immensity of the task. Frank Freidel completed five volumes, taking the story up to 1933. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. finished three volumes, but only got as far as the 1936 re-election. James MacGregor Burns completed the first of his volumes in 1956, but it took him until 1970 to publish the second. Kenneth Davis died in 1999 with four of his five volumes in print; the last would be published in 2000.

Photo

Either because publishers demand it or authors prefer it, recent biographers have tried to squeeze the story into one extended volume. Robert Dallek, the author of an earlier book on Roosevelt’s foreign policy and several presidential biographies, is the latest to take this route.

There are many strengths to “Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life.” Dallek fully incorporates into his narrative Roosevelt’s complicated, conflicted relationship with the several women in his life and is especially good on the role Eleanor played, as goad and political adviser. He also makes it clear, in a way other biographers do not, that almost from the moment he entered office, Roosevelt set out to educate the nation to the fact that the United States was threatened not only by economic depression at home, but also by fascist aggressions abroad. He did not counsel war, but neither did he counsel isolation from the world beyond our shores. “The maintenance of international peace is a matter in which we are deeply and unselfishly concerned,” he told Congress as early as January 1935, in his State of the Union address.

Dallek reminds us that Roosevelt took office knowing full well that while as president he bore ultimate responsibility for the nation, he did so with limited powers. Congress was in control of foreign policy and the Supreme Court could and would overturn domestic policies it considered unconstitutional. Only after his enormous second-term landslide victory in 1936, when he was worried and frightened that constraints on his executive powers would hinder, if not block, his efforts to right the economy and protect international peace, did Roosevelt uncharacteristically, almost perversely, attempt to alter the balance of powers by packing the Supreme Court with his appointees and purging his Democratic majority of incumbents, mostly Southerners, who opposed his policies. Both initiatives failed — and failed badly, leaving him with a diminished capacity to extend the New Deal or intervene to deter German, Italian and Japanese aggressions.

Book Review

One of the perks of being a reader of history is time travel. Pick up a presidential biography and, for an hour or so, you can leave the present behind and enjoy an almost visceral comfort in visiting another world. The catch is that you remain tethered to the present, incapable of looking at the past without comparing it to the present.

Reading a Roosevelt biography today, one is struck head-on by the deadly seriousness, the moral purpose with which Franklin Roosevelt prepared for and assumed the office of president of the United States. His respect for the dignity of the presidency was unwavering through his 12 years and one month in the White House. You can hear it in his fireside addresses and radio talks, read it in his formal speeches to Congress and the nation, watch it in the newsreel clips. He stands near ramrod straight, gripping the podium. He speaks plainly, but never less than eloquently. Every word is carefully chosen, articulated with force and precision, but never snidely, sarcastically or dismissively, and never with rancor or condescension. His purpose was not to stir up his supporters — though he managed to do so — but to educate the larger public, friends and foes, to his concerns, which he hoped would become their concerns.

Dallek’s is a workmanlike addition to the literature on Roosevelt and covers all the bases. There is, regrettably, little to distinguish it from the many excellent biographies that came before it and on which it draws. The prose is clean, but flat, with little sparkle or literary grace. There are no new analytic thrusts or parries, no new sources or imaginative reinterpretations of old ones. Those who have read other Roosevelt biographies will learn little from this one. Still, this is a story worth telling, again and again. And there is much to be gained, at this moment in our history, from having one more Roosevelt biography in our electronic devices and on our bookstore and library shelves.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Economic Recovery, 59 min marc Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2018 at 7:39 PM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique du burnout post-démocratique J23 9:06AM

911 : establishment terror J22 11:18PM

Actor Patrick Kilpatrick Discusses and Signs his New Book Dying for Living J22 10:42PM

The Attack of Corporations and the Rich on the Rest of Society J22 2:36PM

bataclown J22 12:32PM

bataclone J21 8:08PM

VAN ATTACK HOAX J21 7:35PM

Mobile Royale Hack Online Generator - Get Unlimited Crystals J21 3:03PM

Unification, séparation et fragmentation J21 2:48PM

Testing Upload J21 7:10AM

FARCELONA.2 J20 7:18PM

FAKE NEWS POR SOROS J20 6:11PM

Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM

FAKE NEWS J19 2:31PM

MACROTHSCHILD.2 J19 11:03AM

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy