FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, GALLANT PRESIDENT by Barbara Silberdick Feinberg

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, GALLANT PRESIDENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

On a level with Doris Faber's Franklin D. Roosevelt (1974), with a little less personal detail and political comment, this simple, sympathetic biography shows Roosevelt emerging from a protected childhood to follow cousin Teddy's footsteps en route to the White House. She emphasizes FDR's belief, as governor and President, that ""government should help people""; and in this context she gets across the gist of the New Deal without many specifics on particular programs. (Social Security in particular needs a clearer explanation, especially in light of its current interest.) Roosevelt's controversial actions, such as the attempted Supreme Court packing, the Japanese-American internment, and the atomic bomb development, are mentioned but without attention to the issues they raised. In the end, the two points that do stand out, and are emphasized in Feinberg's last-page assessment, are Roosevelt's triumph over his handicap and his demonstration ""that government could help [people] during difficult times."" The first point is always worth making to children (and so, of course, always emphasized in juvenile biographies); stressing the second gives this a place now that the 50-year direction set by Roosevelt is being reversed.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1981
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard