The Rise and Fall of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

By Robert Underhill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 25. FDR: A RECKONING

Character [ethos] is the most potent of all means of
persuasion.

—Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book 1.

____________________

At the beginning of the fourth decade of the twentieth century, peace everywhere was threatened. The whole world was in flux; although the Spanish Civil War had ended, World War II had broken out in Europe; Luftwaffe planes were bombing England; Japanese forces had invaded China and Indo-China. The world had moved to a global economy, and the balance of power was shifting. The United States, new to its role as a truly great industrial power, was inescapably involved in the affairs of other nations through heritage, diplomatic ties, vast flows of resources, and extensive commerce links. Franklin Roosevelt realized this fact earlier than most politicians, and he used persona and persuasion, buttressed by guile, and outright deceptions in several instances, to bring American voters along.

Was he a great President? Does he belong in an American pantheon along with Washington and Lincoln? What makes for greatness, anyway?

According to the writings of William Shakespeare, some men are born great, others achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Franklin Roosevelt’s life fits into each of the three categories. The bard of Avon might have added (but didn’t) that some persons outlive greatness; yet that is what happened to Franklin Roosevelt.

-179-

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The Rise and Fall of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • Foreword 1
  • Chapter 1- Europe after the First World War 3
  • Chapter 2- America’s Great Depression 11
  • Chapter 3- Franklin Roosevelt- The Early Years 17
  • Chapter 4- FDR- Emerging Politician 23
  • Chapter 5- Seizing the Crown 27
  • Chapter 6- Advisors and Aides 31
  • Chapter 7- FDR- First Media President 39
  • Chapter 8- Supreme Court Imbroglio 43
  • Chapter 9- Europe’s War–1939 53
  • Chapter 10- Third Term 59
  • Chapter 11- Lend Lease 69
  • Chapter 12- Intervention or Isolation 77
  • Chapter 13- Barbarossa 91
  • Chapter 14- Troubled Waters 101
  • Chapter 15- Americana 1941 109
  • Chapter 16- The Labor Front 113
  • Chapter 17- From Marriage to Alliance 119
  • Chapter 18- Empire of the Rising Sun 127
  • Chapter 19- Atlantic Charter 133
  • Chapter 20- Enter the Scientists 141
  • Chapter 21- Undeclared War 1941 147
  • Chapter 22- Russia- The Enigma 153
  • Chapter 23- Japan- Expansion and Perfidy 161
  • Chapter 24- Infamy 171
  • Chapter 25- FDR- A Reckoning 179
  • Bibliography 195
  • Notes 199
  • Index 209
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