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

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

by Stanley Weintraub
     
 

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A compelling narrative about FDR, preoccupied with winning the war and his deteriorating health, and the hard-fought presidential election for an unprecedented fourth term

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Overview

A compelling narrative about FDR, preoccupied with winning the war and his deteriorating health, and the hard-fought presidential election for an unprecedented fourth term

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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 portraysa political icondetermined 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)
From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly, 3/26/12

“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…Historically satisfying, bringing the events to life with telling anecdotes, Weintraub’s book portrays a political icon determined to make his mark on America and the world in the twilight of his life.”

Kirkus Reviews, 5/15/12

“In this well-researched, engaging history, Weintraub effectively brings the players to life, portraying the public and private faces of the witty, indomitable FDR and his opponent, the stiff, humorless New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey…Weintraub shows how Roosevelt, despite his illness, was still a force to be reckoned with…A well-drawn political history of FDR’s last days.”

 

Unshelved Book Club, 5/4/12

“[A] satisfyingly gossipy history of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s campaign for an unprecedented fourth term.”

WWII History, July 2012

“[An] engrossing work dealing with the only American president to serve more than two terms.”

Milwaukee Shepherd-Express, 7/3/12

“[A] well-researched and entertaining voyage through that long-ago, unprecedented campaign.”

Milwaukee Sunday Journal Sentinel, 7/9/12

“Briskly written…Weintraub does a great job turning what could be a predictable subject (we know how it turns out, after all) into a page-turner. And he shows some interesting same-as-it-ever-was parallels to today.”

Hudson Valley News, 7/18/12

“Weintraub has brought it all back…This book reads like a novel. Whether or not you remember those days, they will come to life for you while reading this book.”

InfoDad.com, 7/26/12

“[Weintraub] is certainly aware of ways in which the 1944 election has resonance with later ones…Weintraub does a good job of using primary sources and of humanizing grand events of the day.”

Bookviews.com, August 2012
”A fascinating visit to the past."

Reference & Research Book News, August 2012
“[Weintraub] employs an anecdotal/narrative sort of approach to the topic, offering a snapshot of the political mood and contexts of the country at a time of war as much as he considers the specifics of Roosevelt's decisions and activities as he campaigned with the relatively unknown Harry Truman.”

Library Journal, 8/10/12

“Enjoyable and readable. Weintraub knows the literature and how to hold a reader’s attention. Political junkies will especially enjoy it during this electoral season.”

Roanoke Times, 8/12/12

“An in-depth account of the election of 1944…Some readers might see an eerie similarity between the 1944 campaign and the 2012 campaign.”

Lowell Sun, 8/5/12

“[A] great summer read for both lovers of politics as well as history buffs.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/19/12

“Offers a detailed look at the 1944 race and contains details that even the most inveterate reader of FDR books will find fresh…A penetrating look at a seminal campaign and an intriguing view of American history, Final Victory examines, with scholarship and sense, a unique moment in politics and a fascinating look at some of the major political and military figures of the Second World War. Weintraub…again demonstrates his skill at examining the republic in moments of crisis.”

Asbury Park Press, 8/19/12

“Weintraub d

The Military Advisor, Winter 2014
“This is a marvelous treatise by a noted World War II author on the last of four of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential races—run in the middle of the war, no less!...This is an outstanding tale of a democracy successfully preparing to possibly change leaders in the midst of its greatest war, as well as a tale that all FDR fans and foes will want to read and cherish.”

H-Net Reviews
“Weintraub weaves a careful, smooth approach to political history…His style is prescient and richly historical…A fluid and provocative historical study…A short, light read…Lively and informative.”

Kirkus Reviews
Historian Weintraub (Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941, 2011, etc.) looks at an ailing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's last campaign. In 1944, Roosevelt was in very poor health, plagued by a heart condition, high blood pressure and exhaustion. He was noticeably gaunt and sickly, drawing concerned comments from those close to him, and even from the press. But with World War II still raging overseas, he chose to run for an unprecedented fourth term, even if it was likely that he wouldn't live to see the end of it. In this well-researched, engaging history, Weintraub effectively brings the players to life, portraying the public and private faces of the witty, indomitable FDR and his opponent, the stiff, humorless New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey. Dewey mounted a tough campaign, claiming that "the New Deal was the beginning of a Communist ‘corporate state.' " He even considered accusing Roosevelt publicly of not acting on advance warning of the Pearl Harbor attacks; he was only dissuaded from doing so by Gen. George Marshall, who warned that such an accusation would endanger the ongoing war effort. He largely stayed away from exploiting Roosevelt's illness during the campaign, although the Chicago Tribune warned that "a vote for Roosevelt is very likely to be a vote for [vice-presidential candidate Harry] Truman for President." (Truman would in fact become president when Roosevelt died of a brain hemorrhage, just months into his fourth term.) Weintraub shows how Roosevelt, despite his illness, was still a force to be reckoned with. He continued to give dazzling speeches and enjoyed loyal support from many constituencies, including soldiers still at war, who voted absentee for FDR in large numbers. A well-drawn political history of FDR's last days.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306821134
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
07/03/2012
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.16(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Weintraub is a preeminent historian and an award-winning author of more than fifty highly acclaimed books of history and biography, including Pearl Harbor Christmas, Silent Night, 11 Days in December, Victoria, and Disraeli. He lives in Newark, Delaware.

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