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Tags: franklin roosevelt | pietrusza | book

Researching Roosevelt: Pietrusza's Thorough and Profound New Book

Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 09 December 2022 10:47 AM EST

In "Roosevelt Sweeps the Nation: FDR's 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal," author David Pietrusza delves into Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first term in the Oval Office and his fight to maintain the presidency.

Pietrusza brilliantly manages to link disparate characters (of which there are many) in a way that makes sense. Similarly, he offers a list of all of the cast at the beginning of the book with a short description, which comes in handy when a reader would like a refresher on a specific person.

With such a wide array of characters that would necessitate a cast list, one would assume that Pietrusza barely scratches the surface with them and mainly focuses on FDR. This is far from the truth. Throughout the book, Pietrusza dives into the stories of prominent figures such as Alfred E. Smith (former governor of New York and 1928 presidential nominee for the Democratic Party), of whom the reader sees a striking contrast with FDR.

Both "hailed from New York. Both were Democrats and had served alongside each other as state legislators. Both won election and reelection as governor of New York. Both served as their party's presidential standard-bearers."

Their differences, however, were significant. Smith was born poor and FDR was born rich. The stories of these two men and the diverse work they did was a fascinating aspect of the book that added to what could have just been a political narrative about FDR and his desire to win reelection as president.

Pietrusza flips the script and gives a detailed look into the election, specifically the polling. He also balances it with sharing a compelling story that makes a reader want to keep reading.

The read is a political one, but it is far from mundane. Pietrusza sets the scene in a much more compelling way, full of solid content, an easy to follow plot, and drama. Although it is a significant read (426 pages), it is also an intriguing book that dives into political relations, the intersectionality of race and politics, and how FDR governed in his first term and strategized for a second term.

Learning about the African American move toward the Democrats and how race played a critical role in the 1936 election was fascinating. In addition, the author did a great job at depicting the work, or lack thereof, that people and parties were doing on behalf of, or against, those of different races and ethnicities.

This is more than an election book; it is a human book.

It is clear that Pietrusza did his research, as this book does a wonderful job quoting many different people, polls, outlets, and more. T

Polls generally showed that it would be a close election.

However, as the author put it, on Election Day, "here and there, [Alf] Landon [the Republican nominee in 1936] marked gains from [former Republican President Herbert] Hoover's 1932 showing; but overall, voters somehow resisted GOP blandishments."

While FDR's programs, specifically the New Deal, were readily able to be criticized, specifically pertaining to economics, the end results showcased a turn of events. FDR garnered 523 Electoral College votes to Landon's 8.

Reading this book will take some time, dedication, and willingness to dig deeper to fully understand the players and the political stage of 1936 being set. But it is also bound to increase the reader's understanding about American politics and how politics influences and intersects with several areas of everyday life. Franklin D. Roosevelt is a widely-discussed figure, yet Pietrusza gives a new breath of life and insight into the politician's career, tenure, and work to win an historic reelection.

Micah Hart, formerly a Newsmax intern, is studying at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
In "Roosevelt Sweeps the Nation: FDR's 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal," author David Pietrusza delves into Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first term in the Oval Office and his fight to maintain the presidency
franklin roosevelt, pietrusza, book
618
2022-47-09
Friday, 09 December 2022 10:47 AM
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