Together We Cannot Fail: FDR and the American Presidency in Years of Crisis

Overview

"While listening to the audio, readers will be struck by Roosevelt's immense oratory skills. In his famous 'fireside chats,' the president adopted a down-to-earth, fatherly tone, but when the occasion demanded it, he could thunderously deliver such lines as, 'this generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.' A fine contextualization of Roosevelt's life and times."
Kirkus Reviews

An uncommon ...

See more details below
Hardcover (Book and CD)
$25.98
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$29.99 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (47) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $1.99   
  • Used (31) from $1.99   
Together We Cannot Fail: FDR and the American Presidency in Years of Crisis (Enhanced Edition)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Enhanced)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 45%)$29.99 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

"While listening to the audio, readers will be struck by Roosevelt's immense oratory skills. In his famous 'fireside chats,' the president adopted a down-to-earth, fatherly tone, but when the occasion demanded it, he could thunderously deliver such lines as, 'this generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.' A fine contextualization of Roosevelt's life and times."
Kirkus Reviews

An uncommon portrait of Roosevelt's presidency, in words, photographs, and his own voice

This vivid portrait shows a nation at its best and at its worst, through the lens of a president's words during the first presidency truly impacted by the media age. An FDR biography unlike any other, Together We Cannot Fail offers a new view of Roosevelt's transformation of an insular America into the world's most revered and feared superpower. An exclusive accompanying CD integrates with the biography to reveal in his own words how he led the nation through the Great Depression and World War II to its "rendezvous with destiny."

Historian Terry Golway brings alive how Roosevelt saved America from its worst fears and led the nation to victory in a cataclysmic world war and by doing so forever changed how Americans live and view themselves. Crafted from Roosevelt's own stirring words, this unique biography shows how he invented and established the practice of the media presidency with his famous fireside chats, the first presidential speeches broadcast nationally from the White House.

Hear FDR speak to the nation in 30 famous speeches on an exclusive audio CD

For twelve tumultuous presidential years, Roosevelt regularly spoke to the American people, this man of wealth and privilege giving voice to the downtrodden's American Dream. The first in a long line of media presidencies, Roosevelt's innate ability to connect with the people remains the standard by which even the best of them—Kennedy, Reagan, and Obama alike—are judged. Roosevelt's words would define a remarkable presidency that faced and overcame the country's worst economic crisis and a war to end all wars.

Together We Cannot Fail brings the president and his era to life like no other biography, combining the insight of noted historian Terry Golway with Roosevelt's own voice in audio excerpts from his most memorable speeches and chats.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The United States economy is failing, a war overseas threatens global security, and a president who tells the country “I still believe in ideals” manages to keep hope alive. That president was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Golway (Let Every Nation Know) describes Roosevelt's use of radio airwaves to become not merely a political figure but a beloved and trusted friend, almost “a guest in the homes of everyday Americans.” This is examined with great attention to FDR's rhetorical prowess and illustrated by the accompanying CD, which includes audio clips from some of FDR's most famed speeches and fireside chats. We can hear him telling Americans that isolationism was impossible because the world had shrunk; that despite the Depression “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”; that sometimes we must sacrifice at home for liberty abroad. The book and CD will resonate deeply with those seeking a historical context for today's economic crisis, interested in WWII or merely fascinated by the spoken word's power to inspire hope. Photos. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Golway (American History/Kean Univ.; Ronald Reagan's America, 2008, etc.) presents an audio-and-text survey of President Franklin Roosevelt's key speeches. Like his similar books on the speeches of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, this book includes a CD of speech excerpts, with the book's text amplifying and clarifying the events contained in the audio. Each chapter focuses on a particular speech, with the track number provided. In the chapter on Roosevelt's first inaugural address on March 4, 1933, Golway deftly sketches not only the preceding presidential campaign, but also specific details of the speech itself-for example, that the famous line, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," written by Roosevelt, may have been inspired by a similar phrase from Henry David Thoreau. While listening to the audio, readers will be struck by Roosevelt's immense oratory skills. In his famous "fireside chats," the president adopted a down-to-earth, fatherly tone, but when the occasion demanded it, he could thunderously deliver such lines as, "this generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny." Golway also emphasizes the president's talent as a speechwriter. His famous speech the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor ("a date which will live in infamy") was comprised of his words alone. And what powerful words they were-immediately after, Congress passed a motion declaring war on Japan with just one vote of dissent. Golway closes with Roosevelt's final speech to Congress, in March 1945, when the president was thin, frail and exhausted. The context makes the audio of the speech, in which a clearly tired Roosevelt makes lighthearted reference to his leg braces, all the more poignant. Afine contextualization of Roosevelt's life and times.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402217166
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/11/2009
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 1,329,218
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Golway
Terry Golway is the acclaimed coauthor of Let Every Nation Know and the author of Ronald Reagan's America and Washington's General. He writes for the New York Times, American Heritage, and the New York Observer.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Fear Itself

First Inaugural Address March 4, 1933

Although he had been governor of New York for only three years, Franklin Roosevelt had his eyes fixed firmly on the White House as the election year of 1932 began. Politicians and commentators had been speculating about his ambitions for more than two years; in fact, on the day after Roosevelt won a smashing reelection as governor in 1930, humorist Will Rogers wrote, "The Democrats nominated their president yesterday, Franklin D. Roosevelt."

A week after the announcement, on January 30, the governor's inner circle was invited to Hyde Park to celebrate Roosevelt's fiftieth birthday. Edward J. Flynn, the Democratic boss of Bronx County and secretary of the state—a job that gave him authority over the electoral process in New York—was among those in attendance. As a memento of the occasion, he received a place card from Roosevelt with a poem written in his honor:

The Secretary of the State
(Our Constitution doth relate)
Must certify our people's voice As who for President's their choice Oh! Flynn I hope you will remember I'm your friend—come next November.

Roosevelt, of course, was counting on a great many friends come November. The key was getting there. Roosevelt was not the only Democrat with presidential ambitions, for it was becoming clear that the party's nominee very likely would become the next president of the United States. After losing three consecutive presidential campaigns and seven of the last nine, Democrats understood that victory was, at last, within their grasp.

That confidence, albeit born of suffering and despair, was something entirely new for a generation of Democrats that came to power in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Even Woodrow Wilson's victories in 1912 and 1916 were hardly ringing endorsements of Democratic policies. Wilson owed his first win to the bitter split between two Republican presidents, incumbent William Howard Taft and his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt. In a four-way race with the Republican Taft, the Progressive Roosevelt, and the Socialist Eugene V. Debs, Wilson won just 42 percent of the vote. His reelection in 1916 was similarly unimpressive: he defeated Charles Evan Hughes by just twenty-three votes in the Electoral College. California put Wilson over the top, but he won the state by fewer than four thousand votes.

The presidential campaign of 1932 figured to be a very different story. Democratic victories in the off-year races for Congress in 1930 indicated that stunned and angry Americans would demand drastic changes to meet an economic calamity that Hoover seemed incapable of resolving. With that in mind, Roosevelt's friend and aide Louis Howe kept up an extensive correspondence with Democratic activists around the country, creating a huge network of potential supporters. And as the effort began in earnest, Roosevelt assigned James Farley, secretary of New York's Democratic State Committee, to travel the country and meet personally with key Democratic leaders in an effort to win their support. Farley was a brilliant choice, for he was gregarious and charming, an ideal political salesman and an absolute Roosevelt loyalist.

The work of Howe and Farley was critical in an era in which party leaders, not primary voters, played a decisive role in determining presidential nominees. That is not to say the leaders were a monolith capable of simply imposing their will on the party's rank and file. The Democratic convention of 1924 demonstrated the deep divisions that could exist among party bosses with competing agendas. Nevertheless, as Roosevelt knew, support from leaders representing a cross-section of the country was invaluable heading into a presidential convention.

Roosevelt's fledgling candidacy faced one obstacle that neither Howe's letters nor Farley's meetings could easily overcome. The obstacle's name was Alfred E. Smith.

Al Smith knew what Roosevelt's people knew, indeed, what so many other Americans knew as well: the candidate chosen by the 1932 Democratic National Convention very likely would defeat Hoover in the fall. Smith believed the party owed him for his valiant but doomed campaign in 1928, when prosperity, Prohibition, and prejudice combined to thwart his dream of becoming the nation's first Catholic president.

As the early maneuvering got underway, Smith told Flynn that he was not interested in the presidency. But, to Flynn's surprise, Smith had a change of heart. On February 8, 1932, as Roosevelt's men were wooing fellow Democrats, and newspapers were openly discussing Roosevelt's as yet unannounced candidacy, Smith released a statement saying that if "the Democratic National Convention…should decide that it wants me to lead, I will make the fight." Soon afterwards, after Roosevelt delivered a radio address in which he spoke of the plight of the "forgotten man," Smith delivered an angry speech implicitly accusing his friend and successor of trying to "stir up" the "poor against the rich." This, he said, "is not time for demagogues."

The stage, then, was set for a titanic battle between two New York governors who worked with each other and supported each other through the 1920s. Smith, bitter over his defeat in 1928 and especially his failure to carry his home state, had a difficult time reconciling himself to Roosevelt's rise to prominence and the ease with which he became a national figure. Roosevelt encountered none of the class prejudice Smith faced among the party's intellectual leaders. In 1928, the Nation, a reliably Democratic periodical, engaged in a soul-searching debate about whether or not liberals should vote for Smith—the editors were not especially enthusiastic, and left it to readers to decide for themselves whether to cast their ballot for Smith or for Norman Thomas, the Socialist Party candidate with elite, Progressive sensibilities. There would be no such hand-wringing over Roosevelt's prospective candidacy.

While Smith had a tendency to underestimate Roosevelt, FDR did not make a similar mistake when it came to Smith. In the battle for support of key urban Democrats, FDR knew that Smith, a proud child of Manhattan's Lower East Side, had a decided advantage. "Al Smith knows these city people better," Roosevelt conceded. "He can move them. I can't."

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

On the CD Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1882—1945

Part One: A New Deal, 1933—1936
Introduction Chapter 1: Fear Itself [Track 1]
Chapter 2: The Beginning of a Conversation [Track 2]
Chapter 3: "The Country Was Dying by Inches" [Track 3]
Chapter 4: "I Still Believe in Ideals" [Track 4]
Chapter 5: A Feeling of Security [Track 5]
Chapter 6: "A Rendezvous with Destiny" [Track 6]
Chapter 7: "I Welcome Their Hatred" [Track 7]

Part Two: Recovery, Recession, and War, 1937—1940
Introduction Chapter 8: A Third of the Nation [Track 8]
Chapter 9: Packing the Court [Track 9]
Chapter 10: Distant Drums [Track 10]
Chapter 11: A Roosevelt Recession [Track 11]
Chapter 12: Purging the Democratic Party [Track 12]
Chapter 13: War [Track 13]
Chapter 14: A Stab in the Back [Track 14]
Chapter 15: Breaking with Tradition [Track 15]
Chapter 16: The Arsenal of Democracy [Track 16]

Part Three: Freedom's Champion, 1941—1945
Introduction Chapter 17: The Four Freedoms [Track 17]
Chapter 18: Lend-Lease [Track 18]
Chapter 19: Closer to the Edge [Track 19]
Chapter 20: Day of Infamy [Track 20]
Chapter 21: Fear, Again [Track 21]
Chapter 22: The Folks Back Home [Track 22]
Chapter 23: The Sands of North Africa [Track 23]
Chapter 24: The G.I. Bill [Track 24]
Chapter 25: Managing the Alliance [Track 25]
Chapter 26: "An Unusually Bellicose Speech" [Track 26]
Chapter 27: A Prayer on D-Day [Track 27]
Chapter 28: Fala [Track 28]
Chapter 29: "We Cannot Live Alone" [Track 29].
Chapter 30: Final Words [Track 30]

Notes Bibliography Index Credits About Sourcebooks MediaFusion.
Acknowledgments About the Author

Terry Golway is the acclaimed coauthor of Let Every Nation Know and the author of Ronald Reagan's America and Washington's General. He writes for the New York Times, American Heritage, and the New York Observer.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)