His Final Battle

His Final Battle

The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt

Large Print - 2016
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"By far the most enigmatic leading figure" of World War II. That's how the British military historian John Keegan described Franklin D. Roosevelt, who frequently left his contemporaries guessing, never more so than at the end of his life. Here, author and journalist Joseph Lelyveld untangles the narrative threads of Roosevelt's final months, showing how he juggled the strategic, political, and personal choices he faced as the war, his presidency, and his life raced in tandem to their climax. The story is told with a close focus on Roosevelt himself and his hopes for a stable international order after the war, and how these led him into a prolonged courtship of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator, involving secret, arduous journeys to Tehran and the Crimea. In between, as the war entered its final phase, came the thunderbolt of a dire medical diagnosis, raising urgent questions about the ability of the longest-serving president to stand for a fourth term at a time when he had little choice. Neither his family nor top figures in his administration were informed of his diagnosis, let alone the public or his closest ally, Winston Churchill. With D-Day looming, Roosevelt took a month off on a plantation in the south where he was examined daily by a Navy cardiologist, then waited two more months before finally announcing, on the eve of his party's convention, that he'd be a candidate. A political grand master still, he manipulated the selection of a new running mate, with an eye to a possible succession, displaying some of his old vigor and wit in a winning campaign. Lelyveld examines the choices Roosevelt faced, shining new light on his state of mind, preoccupations, and motives, both as leader of the wartime alliance and in his personal life. Confronting his own mortality, Roosevelt operated in the belief that he had a duty to see the war through to the end, telling himself he could always resign if he found he couldn't carry on.
Publisher: Farmington Hills, Michigan : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410495198
1410495191
Branch Call Number: LP 973.917092 R677LE 2016
Characteristics: 727 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 23 cm

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JoeyAndres
Apr 18, 2017

Great read. This book did a nice crescendo to FDR's life. The end was particularly exiting with FDR's strained relationship with Stalin. It also showed intimate aspects of the relationships of the people around him. It is a must read for those who are interested in FDR!

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StarGladiator
May 02, 2016

I look forward to reading this - - with trepidation! If the NY Times author who wrote this didn't include TNEC and FDR's final action: giving the goahead to the DOJ to sue the Wall Street 17, I will be very outdone and unkindly towards this author!

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