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 3:28 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 11:39 AM

Local News

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Fbi deletes this report on their atrocities J18 7:43PM

police crimes J18 1:26PM

America is Suffering Under an Ego Driven Fascist Pig While Spineless GOP Proudly Looks On J18 12:01PM

Paraphysique de synecdoque J18 12:34AM

Le capital ou l'épouvante permanente J15 11:30PM

Authoritarian Capitalism and Digital Demagogue J15 3:08AM

The Shortwave Report 06/15/18 Listen Globally! J14 4:23PM

Autisme sociétal J13 10:53PM

Georgias Poultry Justice Alliane Helps Workers in SE J13 8:50PM

Greedy Animal Researchers Hide Truth About Alzheimer's From Public J13 3:59PM

Austerity Policy as Momentous Mistake J12 5:19PM

Abrégé de la connerie J12 1:35PM

May 2018 Honduras coup update J10 7:30PM

Neoliberalism and Authoritarianism - A Symbiotic Pair J10 7:50AM

La société au TOUT dégueulasse J09 11:48AM

New Low Power Fm is being planned 4 hopi people AZ J07 9:56PM

The Shortwave Report 06/08/18 Listen Globally! J07 4:24PM

Asylum Seekers Heinously Abused By Trump, Sessions, Kelly, Nielsen, Miller Etc J06 5:15PM

Neoliberalism or New Freedom for Corporations J06 5:29AM

Neocon Black Op Of Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg, Isikoff, Drudge J05 12:01PM

De GLI-F4 au E579, E585 J05 1:43AM

Orthodromie succincte J03 2:16AM

Cape Cod: From Colonial Plunder To Atomic Revenge J01 11:05PM

Israeli Manipulation Of US 2016 & Other Elections J01 3:44PM

G7 Hurricane Debt Relief Caribbean/Small Islands J01 10:46AM

Trade War and Zero Deficit Myth J01 12:33AM

The Shortwave Report 06/01/18 Listen Globally! M31 4:28PM

Paraphysique des perturbateurs attentionnels M31 3:25PM

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