What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By Thomas H. Greer | Go to book overview

1
Vision of the Abundant Life

"THE GREAT TEACHER SAID 'I come that ye may have life and that ye may have it more abundantly! The object of all our striving should be to realize that 'abundant life.' "1 In these words, written during the first year of the New Deal, Roosevelt expressed his underlying social view. The laws that he sponsored, the agencies that he established, the political maneuvers that he devised-these were but means to the end: a more abundant life for every man, woman, and child.

Roosevelt, of course, had no patent on the phrase, "more abundant life," and he was by no means unique among politicians in favoring the idea. Calvin Coolidge, who went on the record against sin, no doubt believed in abundant living, too. It is in the specifications of the good society that Roosevelt set forth a distinctive point of view.


Religious Conviction

Of the many precedents which Roosevelt established as president, one has received less notice than it deserved. On the morning of his first inauguration, March 4, 1933, he attended special church services at St. John's with members of his family and Cabinet. He did this on successive inaugurations, as well as on special occasions-each time asking for divine guidance in the tasks ahead. The precedent had

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What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface - Roosevelt: A Practical Philosopher ix
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Vision of the Abundant Life 3
  • 2 - Unto Unto Caesar What is Caesar's 26
  • 3 - Government and the Economy 45
  • 4 - A More Perfect Union: The American Constitutional System 75
  • 5 - The People's Choice: The Presidency 88
  • 6 - The Great Game of Politics 114
  • 7 - Truth and Citizenship 142
  • 8 - The Good Neighbor 158
  • 9 - Strategy for Survival 183
  • 10 - Roosevelt: Radical or Conservative? 206
  • Notes and Bibliography 215
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliographical Note 229
  • Index 235
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