FDR and the American Crisis (Knopf, 2015)

FDR and the American Crisis

Albert Marrin

Brought up in a privileged family, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had every opportunity in front of him. As a young man, he found a path in politics and quickly began to move into the public eye. That ascent seemed impossible when he contracted polio and lost the use of his legs. But with a will of steel he fought the disease—and public perception of his disability—to become president of the United States of America.
FDR used that same will to guide his country through a crippling depression and a horrendous world war. He understood Adolf Hitler, and what it would take to stop him, before almost any other world leader did. But to accomplish his greater goals, he made difficult choices that sometimes compromised the ideals of fairness and justice.
FDR is one of America’s most intriguing presidents, lionized by some and villainized by others. National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin explores the life of a fascinating, complex man, who was ultimately one of the greatest leaders our country has known.


A comprehensive examination of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency and its legacy. 

For Marrin, Roosevelt’s influence was such that “we need to know about the thirty-second president because we cannot understand our world today without understanding his role in shaping it.” Marrin explores FDR’s early years of privilege, the complex relationships Roosevelt had with his mother and his wife, Eleanor, and his seemingly inevitable march to a life in politics. Roosevelt’s charm and ability to sway individuals and crowds are described in detail. FDR’s strong actions after assuming the presidency during the Great Depression were not without criticism, and Marrin acknowledges them, but the electorate remained supportive enough to elect him four times. This well-researched and highly detailed examination of FDR and his presidency provides insight for readers generations removed from the events. Every aspect of the story is included. Marrin artfully weaves the elements of FDR’s personality and home life with events occurring in the country and on the world stage. Colorful descriptions of other important leaders and clear storytelling contribute to a lively narrative; the generous inclusion of archival images makes for a handsome package. Students of the period will be captivated. (Source notes, further reading; index and photo credits ;  Ages 12-18) 

— Kirkus

“Marrin blends biography and history in this masterly overview of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s leadership…”

—  School Library Journal

"...frequent, illuminating photos; unimpeachable sourcing; and a breathtaking historical synthesis..."

— Booklist