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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The enigma of FDR, 16 Feb. 2009
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The first chapter of this book provides an interesting and concise biography of FDR before he reached the pinnacle of elected office in the early thirties. The following couple of chapters dealing with trade policy are actually pretty confusing and as a result very dull - far too much specialist knowledge is assumed by the author and the merits and constraints of all of the policy alternatives on offer are never explained clearly. I know domestic policy is out of scope but even a little coverage of the New Deal would provide useful context.

Happily, the rest (i.e. the majority) of the content is devoted to foreign policy and relations during the `Dark Valley', the entry and conduct of WW2, including the President's prolonged struggle with isolationists in Congress and the House. As can be expected from Robert Dallek the right amount of detail is presented and, the writing style maintains interest.

The book concludes with an analysis of the FDR presidency. The negative aspects of FDR's time in office, such as his use of domestic wiretaps and failure to provide more assistance to Europe's jews are weighed with his considerable achievements. The conclusion is, unsurprisingly, largely positive although the author acknowledges that the nature of the man and his motives remain, as he in life intended, resistant to a definative understanding.
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Franklin D.Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-45
Franklin D.Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-45 by Robert Dallek (Hardcover - 30 Sept. 1979)
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