Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s recovery from polio was a stirring comeback story in the classic tradition, told on one of the world’s highest stages. Together with the American public’s willingness to disregard or reinterpret the evidence of their eyes, this narrative was pivotal to his political career. In The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency, James Tobin argues that it was not polio alone, but FDR’s response to it, that altered the ...
In large measure, the experience of a common, cooperative humanity is to conventional historians what “good news” is to journalists: an accepted reality too lacking in drama to be interesting. What V.S. Naipaul termed “that missing large idea of human association” is the overarching subject of Sir David Cannadine’s The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences.
“They take it for granted and do not write about it,” says Cannadine, Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University. “But historically ...
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