A Companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt

Synopsis

A Companion to Franklin D. Roosevelt presents a collection of historiographical essays by leading scholars that provides a comprehensive review of the scholarship on the president who led the United States through the tumultuous period from the Great Depression to the waning days of World War II.
  • Represents a state-of-the-art assessment of current scholarship on FDR, the only president elected to four terms of office and the central figure in key events of the first half of the 20th century
  • Covers all aspects of FDR's life and times, from his health, relationships, and Supreme Court packing, to New Deal policies, institutional issues, and international relations
  • Features 35 essays by leading FDR scholars

Excerpt

Scholars consistently rank Franklin D. Roosevelt among the greatest presidents in American history and as the greatest president of the twentieth century (Pederson and McLaurin 1987; Murray and Blessing 1994). His ranking is based, no doubt, on his successful leadership of the United States during the nation’s two great, back-to-back crises of the twentieth century: the Great Depression and World War II. Myriad books have explored aspects of his leadership and presidency. This proliferation of scholarly examination in turn has resulted in reference works providing both general and specialized information about Roosevelt and his contemporaries.

Among the best of these reference works are encyclopedias (e.g., Olson 1985; Beasley, Shulman, and Beasley 2001; Ciment 2001) and annotated bibliographies (e.g., Hendrickson 2005). This Companion is designed to supplement existing works by adding works published since these reference standards were issued (e.g., the bibliography at the end of the volume focuses on works published after 1993, the ending date for those included in Hendrickson’s annotated bibliography). The historiographical essays assess what is known about each topic, the ongoing debates on these topics, and suggestions for future research. As a result, students should be able to quickly gain insights into each of the topics covered in the volume, ranging from biographies, policies, institutional changes, diplomacy, and area studies.

I extend thanks to the contributors to the volume. My thanks also to Peter Coveney, Executive Editor, History, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing in Massachusetts, for suggesting it, and to Galen Smith, Editorial Assistant at Wiley-Blackwell, US History, Classics and Ancient History. Special appreciation goes to Donna Byrd for her multiple research talents, computer skills, and knowledge of FDR.

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