Tag archive

Franklin D. Roosevelt

From Obama to Trump (and Everything in Between): 2017 Election Day New Releases

in Non-Fiction by

Since last November, Presidential politics and elections have been on everyone’s mind. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you fall, each of us has pondered the future of American politics and whether or not our democracy can withstand the impact of foreign intrusion and maintain its integrity for future generation. As voting citizens, we have the right to explore our political options and vote for the candidate we best see fit to lead our nation.  However, much can be learned from critical analysis and study of the political process. Today is yet another election day, and we will once again be deciding the very fate of the union. The majority of the races are for local candidates, but…

Keep Reading

The Train to Crystal City is both history and cautionary tale about xenophobia

in Non-Fiction by

While Franklin D. Roosevelt is regarded by the vast majority of presidential scholars to be among the three greatest American presidents (along with Washington and Lincoln), his administration bears the stain of a human rights violations that are still coming to light today. That violation is the internment of more than 100,000 Americans of foreign ancestry following the United States’ entry into World War II in 1941. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Government, under the now-infamous Executive Order 9066, rounded up citizens of Japanese, German and Italian descent and placed them in internment camps around the country. A recently released book sheds new light on a little-known aspect of the internment program. In The Train to Crystal…

Keep Reading

The forgotten hero who helped save England in World War II

in Non-Fiction by

Harry Hopkins entered my life in my final year at St. Andrews University in Scotland when my tutor, who was from Texas, wanted me to assess the reputation of a man who had fallen “through a trapdoor in history.” I had never heard of Harry Hopkins before and nor, as my tutor remarked sadly, had anyone else in the United Kingdom. Yet, he told me that Britain’s wartime survival in the face of the Nazi onslaught owed a great deal to a man whom Winston Churchill had called “ a lighthouse from which there shone the beams that led great fleets to harbour.” The memory of that conversation has stayed with me. Forty-five years later, I hope I have thrown…

Keep Reading

Video: Missed It? Live Interview with James MacManus, Author of Sleep in Peace Tonight

in Fiction by

ABOUT SLEEP IN PEACE TONIGHT It’s January 1941, and the Blitz is devastating England. Food supplies are low, Tube stations in London have become bomb shelters, and U-boats have hampered any hope of easy victory. Though the United States maintains its isolationist position, Churchill knows that England is finished without the aid of its powerful ally. Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt’s most trusted adviser, is sent to London as his emissary, and there he falls under the spell of Churchill’s commanding rhetoric—and legendary drinking habits. As he experiences life in a country under attack, Hopkins questions the United States’ silence in the war. But back home FDR is paranoid about the isolationist lobby, and even Hopkins is having trouble convincing him…

Keep Reading

Karen Chase recounts her battle with polio and FDR as a figure of hope

in Non-Fiction by

As the country watches Ken Burns’ latest documentary opus, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, unfold on television, we’ll be given another look at what some have called FDR’s “grand deception”—his campaign to hide the fact that throughout his presidency, he was, due to polio, unable to walk. Apprehensive as to how his public image would suffer if he was seen as disabled, Roosevelt’s family, his aides, and even the media worked together to downplay and conceal the severity of his impairment. Roosevelt and his battle against one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century resonate throughout Polio Boulevard (Excelsior Editions, 2014), a touching memoir written by poet Karen Chase. Chase contracted polio as a 10-year-old in 1953—ironically, at…

Keep Reading

Reading up on the Roosevelts: Great books about the historic trio

in Non-Fiction by

The lives of three of the most towering figures of the 20th century—and of American history—are on full display in Ken Burns’ latest documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. “No other family has ever touched so many lives,” the documentary tells us, and their stories have become the stuff of legend: Theodore, the sickly child who grows up to become the Rough Rider, storming into the presidency and defining America’s new role both at home and around the world; Franklin, the pampered son of wealth who overcomes crippling disease and rises to lead the nation through two of its greatest calamities; and Eleanor, who triumphs over her own fears and self-doubts to become a champion of the downtrodden, and perhaps…

Keep Reading

Go to Top