Final Victory: FDR’s Extraordinary World War II Presidential Campaign

Stanley Weintraub. Da Capo, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-0-306-82113-4
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Weintraub, a historian and bestselling author (11 Days in December), dissects Franklin D. Roosevelt’s historic fourth and last presidential campaign in 1944. Republican kingmakers believed a frail Roosevelt was ripe for defeat and ran a ticket of two governors—Thomas E. Dewey and John Bricker. Roosevelt, suffering from heart disease, was advised by his doctors not to run, but the popular politician looked forward to building a stronger nation based on his New Deal reforms while a younger Dewey decried an “old, tired, stubborn” administration allied, he said, with Communists. With news accounts and political cartoons, Weintraub paints a vivid portrait of the public mood and of FDR literally willing himself to victory with a relatively unknown running mate, Harry Truman. Roosevelt juggled both the sputtering national economy and the wartime effort with equal parts savvy and grit, only to succumb to longstanding medical ailments soon after his inauguration. Historically satisfying, bringing the events to life with telling anecdotes (like Truman’s terrifying, prescient “nightmare that Roosevelt had died and he, Harry S. Truman, was now president”), Weintraub’s book portrays a political icon determined to make his mark on America and the world in the twilight of his life. 25 b&w photos. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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