Title Index
A-K  L-Z

. Search Books . Bestsellers . What's New . LeaderShop
Main Page
. Help . View Cart

 Description and Reviews
 Read an Excerpt
 Reader's Index
 About the Author
 Table of Contents
 Customer Reviews
 Find Similar Items

See Also:
. Biography

leadership books leadership books leadership books

leadership books
Secure Online Ordering Guaranteed!

The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

Jonathan Alter

Retail Price: $16.00
LS Price: $10.88
You Save: $5.12 (32%)

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours

Format: Paperback, 432pp.
ISBN: 9780743246019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: May 8, 2007

Average Customer Review:
best business books


Order This Book!

Add To My Cart

view cart
email friend

Secure Order Guarantee

Item No: 9780743246019

Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

This is the story of a political miracle -- the perfect match of man and moment. Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March of 1933 as America touched bottom. Banks were closing everywhere. Millions of people lost everything. The Great Depression had caused a national breakdown. With the craft of a master storyteller, Jonathan Alter brings us closer than ever before to the Roosevelt magic. Facing the gravest crisis since the Civil War, FDR used his cagey political instincts and ebullient temperament in the storied first Hundred Days of his presidency to pull off an astonishing conjuring act that lifted the country and saved both democracy and capitalism.

Who was this man? To revive the nation when it felt so hopeless took an extraordinary display of optimism and self-confidence. Alter shows us how a snobbish and apparently lightweight young aristocrat was forged into an incandescent leader by his domineering mother; his independent wife; his eccentric top adviser, Louis Howe; and his ally-turned-bitter-rival, Al Smith, the Tammany Hall street fighter FDR had to vanquish to complete his preparation for the presidency.

"Old Doc Roosevelt" had learned at Warm Springs, Georgia, how to lift others who suffered from polio, even if he could not cure their paralysis, or his own. He brought the same talents to a larger stage. Derided as weak and unprincipled by pundits, Governor Roosevelt was barely nominated for president in 1932. As president-elect, he escaped assassination in Miami by inches, then stiffed President Herbert Hoover's efforts to pull him into cooperating with him to deal with a terrifying crisis. In the most tumultuous and dramatic presidential transition in history, the entire banking structure came tumbling down just hours before FDR's legendary "only thing we have to fear is fear itself" Inaugural Address.

In a major historical find, Alter unearths the draft of a radio speech in which Roosevelt considered enlisting a private army of American Legion veterans on his first day in office. He did not. Instead of circumventing Congress and becoming the dictator so many thought they needed, FDR used his stunning debut to experiment. He rescued banks, put men to work immediately, and revolutionized mass communications with pioneering press conferences and the first Fireside Chat. As he moved both right and left, Roosevelt's insistence on "action now" did little to cure the Depression, but he began to rewrite the nation's social contract and lay the groundwork for his most ambitious achievements, including Social Security.

From one of America's most respected journalists, rich in insights and with fresh documentation and colorful detail, this thrilling story of presidential leadership -- of what government is for -- resonates through the events of today. It deepens our understanding of how Franklin Delano Roosevelt restored hope and transformed America.

The Defining Moment will take its place among our most compelling works of political history.


"Jonathan Alter's The Defining Moment is an extraordinarily vivid account of a remarkable moment in American history. It is also a rich and perceptive examination of how Franklin Roosevelt transformed the presidency. This book should be of interest to everyone who cares about the New Deal, and also to everyone who wants to understand the character of American politics."
—Alan Brinkley, author of The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War

"The Defining Moment is a riveting account of the first hundred days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. Alter bewitches readers in this fast-moving story, often poignant, sometimes funny, of how Roosevelt changed the direction of American history."
—David Herbert Donald, author of Lincoln

"A book like this, revealing the power of presidential speeches, should be read -- in FDR's repetition for emphasis -- 'again and again and again.'"
—William Safire, New York Times columnist emeritus

"The Defining Moment should be required reading for every president, every student of leadership, and anyone who appreciates narrative history at its finest."
—Richard Norton Smith, author of An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover

readers index
Reader's Index 
Send us your favorite quotes or passages from this book.

About the Author

Jonathan Alter is a senior editor at Newsweek, where since 1991 he has written an acclaimed column on politics, history, media, and society at large. He is also an analyst and contributing

Table of Contents

Author's Note
Prologue: Sunday, March 5, 1933
2"My Boy Franklin"
3"Miss Nancy"
4Eleanor and Sara
6"The Medieval Gnome"
7The Operator
8The "Ghastly Affliction"
9Warm Springs Dress Rehearsal
10"I ve Got to Be It Myself"
11"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"
12"This Doesn t Go for Above the Neck"
13"Try Something" for "the Forgotten Man"
14The Brain Trust
15The Hair-Splitter
16"The Corkscrew Candidate"
17Off the Reservation
18Flight to Chicago
19The Bonus Army
20The Trial of Jimmy Walker
21"Hang Hoover!"
22 The Perfect Foil
23Under the Mattress
24"Wooden Roof" and Other Cabinetry
25Nearly Martyred in Miami
26"Damn the Secretary"
27"Gabriel Over the White House"
28The Hairy Hand
29Reluctant First Lady
30"Like Hell I Will!"
31"Fear Itself"
32The Consecration
33"An Injection of Adrenalin"
34"Action Now"
35That Temperament
36Holiday Spirit
37"Surpassing Charm"
38That Voice
39"The Chief Croupier"
40Roosevelt s "Tree Army"
41The Blue Eagle
Coda: Social Security
Epilogue: "Dr. New Deal"
Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933
First Fireside Chat, March 12, 1933

Customer Reviews
Write your own online review.

Find Items On Similar Subjects
Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America
The Defining Moment : FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope - Hardcover


All prices subject to change and given in U.S. Dollars.

Copyright ©1998-2009 LeadershipNow / M2 Communications, LLC All Rights Reserved

All materials contained in http://www.LeadershipNow.com are protected by copyright and trademark laws and may not be used for any purpose whatsoever other than private, non-commercial viewing purposes. Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited. LeadershipNow is a trademark of M2 Communications, LLC.