Traitor to His Class: Book summary and reviews of Traitor to His Class by H.W. Brands

Traitor to His Class

The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

by H.W. Brands

Traitor to His Class
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2008
    896 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

A sweeping, magisterial biography of the man generally considered the greatest president of the twentieth century, admired by Democrats and Republicans alike. Traitor to His Class sheds new light on FDR's formative years, his remarkable willingness to champion the concerns of the poor and disenfranchised, his combination of political genius, firm leadership, and matchless diplomacy in saving democracy in America during the Great Depression and the American cause of freedom in World War II.

Drawing on archival materials, public speeches, personal correspondence, and accounts by family and close associates, acclaimed bestselling historian and biographer H. W. Brands offers a compelling and intimate portrait of Roosevelt’s life and career.

Brands explores the powerful influence of FDR’s dominating mother and the often tense and always unusual partnership between FDR and his wife, Eleanor, and her indispensable contributions to his presidency. Most of all, the book traces in breathtaking detail FDR’s revolutionary efforts with his New Deal legislation to transform the American political economy in order to save it, his forceful—and cagey—leadership before and during World War II, and his lasting legacy in creating the foundations of the postwar international order.

Traitor to His Class brilliantly captures the qualities that have made FDR a beloved figure to millions of Americans.

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Media Reviews

"It is fitting that Roosevelt commands the amount of scholarly attention that he does, but sad that so much is wholly redundant with what has come before." - Publishers Weekly.

"Highly recommended for all libraries." - Library Journal.

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Author Information

H.W. Brands Author Biography

Henry William Brands was born in Portland, Oregon, where he lived until he went to California for college. He attended Stanford University and studied history and mathematics.

After graduating he became a traveling salesman, with a territory that spanned the West from the Pacific to Colorado. His wanderlust diminished after several trips across the Great Basin, and he turned to sales of a different sort, namely teaching. For nine years he taught mathematics and history in high school and community college. Meanwhile he resumed his formal education, earning graduate degrees in mathematics and history, concluding with a doctorate in history from the University of Texas at ...

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