From the acclaimed author of John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life, the biography of one of America's greatest presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Roosevelt was the only American president ever to serve four terms. He came from the highest echelons of American society, and though progressively incapacitated by polio from the age of thirty-nine, never showed the slightest self-pity, refusing to allow the disease to constrain his ambition or his place in public life. During the Depression of the 1930s he became the foremost presidential champion of the needy, instituted the famous New Deal and brought about revolutionary changes in America's social and political institutions. Two years into the Second World War he persuaded Americans that it was their unavoidable duty to fight, and brought about a profound reversal in the country's foreign policy. During that titanic conflict he formed a unique friendship with Winston Churchill, and became the central figure in the Western Alliance.
Dallek attributes FDR's success to two remarkable political insights. First, more than any other president, he understood that effectiveness in American politics depended on building a national consensus and commanding stable long-term popular support. Second, he made the presidency the central, most influential institution in modern America's political system. In addressing the country's international and domestic problems, Roosevelt recognized the vital importance of remaining closely attentive to the full range of public sentiment around the decisions made by government-perhaps his most enduring lesson in effective leadership. In an era of national and international division, there could be no more timely biography of America's preeminent twentieth-century leader than one that demonstrates his unparalleled ability as a uniter and consensus maker.
Updated edition of the authoritative single-volume biography of John F. Kennedy. Drawing upon first-hand sources and never-before-opened archives, prize-winning historian Robert Dallek reveals more than we ever knew about Jack Kennedy, forever changing the way we think about his life, his presidency and his legacy.
Dallek also discloses that, while labouring to present an image of robust good health, Kennedy was secretly in and out of hospitals throughout his life, soill that he was administered last rites on several occasions.
He never shies away from Kennedy's weaknesses, but also brilliantly explores his strengths. The result is a full portrait of a bold, brave and truly human John F. Kennedy.
Robert Dallek's brilliant two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson has received an avalanche of praise. Now Dallek has condensed his two-volume masterpiece into what is surely the finest one-volume biography of Johnson available.
Based on years of research in over 450 manuscript collections and oral histories, as well as numerous personal interviews, this biography follows Johnson, the 'human dynamo', from the Texas hill country to the White House. In these pages, Johson emerges as a man of towering intensity and anguished insecurity, of grandiose ambition and grave self-doubt, a man who was brilliant, crude, intimidating, compassionate, overbearing, driven. Gracefully written and delicately balanced, this singular biography reveals both the greatness and the tangled complexities of one of the most extravagant characters ever to step onto the presidential stage.
Robert Dallek is the author of John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life, 1917-1963, Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President and Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power. He won the Bancroft Prize in 1980 for his classic Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president from 2004 to 2005. He lives in Washington, DC.