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

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

by Stanley Weintraub, Michael Kramer
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


When the wartime 1944 presidential election campaign geared up late that spring, Franklin D. Roosevelt had already occupied the White House years longer than any other president. Sensing likely weakness, the Republicans mounted an energetic and expensive campaign, hitting hard at FDR’s liberal domestic policies and the war’s ongoing cost. Despite

Overview


When the wartime 1944 presidential election campaign geared up late that spring, Franklin D. Roosevelt had already occupied the White House years longer than any other president. Sensing likely weakness, the Republicans mounted an energetic and expensive campaign, hitting hard at FDR’s liberal domestic policies and the war’s ongoing cost. Despite gravely deteriorating health, FDR and his feisty running mate, the unexpected Harry Truman, campaigned vigorously against young governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York and old-line Ohio governor John Bricker. Roosevelt’s charm and wit, as well as the military successes in Europe and the Pacific, contributed to his sweeping electoral victory. But the hard-fought campaign would soon take its toll on America’s only four-term president.

Preeminent historian and biographer Stanley Weintraub recaptures FDR’s striking “last campaign” and the year’s momentous events, from the rainy city streets where Roosevelt, his legs paralyzed by polio since 1922, rode in an open car, to the battlefronts where the commander-in-chief’s forces were closing in on Hitler and Hirohito. The tale is unforgettable.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455157372
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
07/03/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
8
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

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 does a masterful job of delivering some knockout punches to the reader early on…He captures the essence of FDR…Compelling reading…A rollicking tale of politics, much of which will resonate with followers of the current presidential election.”
Politics and Patriotism blog, 8/21/12
“An enlightening look at Presidential politics near the end of the Second World War. Today’s commentators and behind-the-scenes candidate handlers would be well advised to read this before we go to vote in November…Final Victory is a carefully considered documentation of Roosevelt’s iron resolve, and the lure of political power.”

ForeWord Reviews, Fall 2012“Riveting reading…Readers drawn to compelling stories about American politics will find Final Victory a rewarding and highly informative book.”
Washington Independent Review of Books
, 9/4/12
“[Weintraub] is no ordinary storyteller…Weintraub skillfully and seamlessly weaves together his varied sources to tell a fabulous tale…Weintraub brings to life the long-forgotten time of train campaigning. From the candidates’ railroad cars to the campaign stops, he makes the reader want to jump on the rail with the candidates and tour the country…[The] narrative is so strong you will think you are there, the hallmark of a great history book. So mute the TV, pause the pundits and get caught up in a truly extraordinary campaign, the election of 1944.”
Bookgasm.com, 8/30/12“Though we all know the end results, Weintraub has a professionally smooth style that makes for delightfully easy reading…Read it if you’re a big Roosevelt or World War II fan.”

Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/7/12“A vivid, comprehensive portrait not only of Roosevelt’s 1944 election run, but of te American political landscape of the time…Final Victory is filled with the ferocious back-and-forth battles of any hotly run political race—especially a wartime, presidential one. And Weintraub does an amazing job of digging up all the details of this exceptional campaign. But what really propels the book are the colorful, telling stories and anecdotes…Well-written and filled with fascinating information, Final Victory wonderfully captures a pivotal moment in America’s history.”
WomanAroundTown.com,9/27/12
“Winning [Roosevelt’s] fourth term in 1944 was by no means a cakewalk. Stanley Weintraub tells the tale with all the drama and suspense of a thriller.”

Choice, December 2012“An engrossing tale with plenty of drama…[Weintraub is] a gifted historian and a fine storyteller…Weintraub writes in a way that is accessible to the layman, yet thorough and valuable for professionals…Highly recommended.”

Baton Rouge Advocate
, 12/2/12

“With all its quirky and quotable passages, Final Victory remains a carefully drawn and highly engaging narrative of a moment in our history when the end of war was in sight and Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives ready for reassessment…You may think you’ve had enough of electioneering this year, but Final Victory is a brisk, rewarding read. It’s the story of a battle for the public’s confidence that does not seem at all old.”

Naval Institute Proceedings, December 2012“The fascinating story of FDR’s last campaign for office…An informative look at the history of this wartime presidential campaign. It also serves as a reminder that however much some things in U.S. politics seem to change, others remain the same.”

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >