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Extended Audio Sample FDR Audiobook, by Jean Edward Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,145 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jean Edward Smith Narrator: Marc Cashman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781415939093
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One of today’s premier biographers, Jean Edward Smith, has written a modern, comprehensive, indeed ultimate book on the epic life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details. We see how Roosevelt’s restless energy, fierce intellect, personal magnetism, and ability to project effortless grace permitted him to master countless challenges throughout his life. Smith recounts FDR’s personal battles and also tackles head-on and in depth the numerous failures and miscues of Roosevelt’s political career.

Summing up Roosevelt’s legacy, Smith gives us the clearest picture yet of how this quintessential Knickerbocker aristocrat became the common man’s president. The result is a powerful account that adds fresh perspectives and draws profound conclusions about a man whose story is widely known but far less well understood. Written for the general public and scholars alike, FDR is a stunning biography in every way worthy of its subject.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of the 2008 Parkman Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 2/15/2014

    " Very readable biography of FDR which seems particularly relevant at this particular point in time. The focus is rightly on his presidency, and topics are covered in a reasonable amount of depth considering his whole life is covered in just over 600 pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 2/10/2014

    " Eh, if Barack Obama has inspired you to read books about FDR and Lincoln, this is a good one to choose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/29/2014

    " This was a really interesting look at Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We all assume we know this president, but this book makes clear that there were essentially three Roosevelt presidencies: the Depression president, the Court-packing screw up, and the war president. He was a person who grew tremendously from his days in the state assembly of New York, started testing his Depression fighting ideas as New York governor, and then served as our only four-term president. In a time when we just elected our first African American president, it's worthy of note that we elected our first physically handicapped president more than three quarters of a century ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/26/2014

    " Occasionally questioning a conclusion made by the author, but the bio is very detailed and fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 1/25/2014

    " This book was very informative i just felt it was a bit to condesned I mean they summed up his fourth term and death in only 6 pages. Plus the author kept putting in random parralels between roosevelt and the subjects of his last book which really got irratating after a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 geoff | 1/15/2014

    " Found out that I really just knew FDR for the New Deal and WWII, but a lot of other interesting stories in this book. Really enjoyed learning about FDR's early life, his role in NY politics and some of his major mistakes in domestic politics. Long, but well paced. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mikey Moresi | 1/6/2014

    " Very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it based upon how the author does a good job of describing FDR's personality. I felt as if I had some connection to the late former president on account of Smith's history of the man. Very well researched as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 12/16/2013

    " A good read, not overly critical bio of the man and president. Many interesting and illuminating facts and insights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fred Wilhoft | 12/2/2013

    " This was by far the most insightful biography of FDR I have read, and there have been several. The book moved along well, and kept your interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 10/19/2013

    " Great book. Unbiased account of FDR's life, his policies and WWII. Highly recommend to anyone interested in an iconic American politician. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 9/3/2013

    " It took forever to complete this book but it was worthwhile. The only disappointing part is that FDR's death and its ramifications were not followed up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angel | 11/23/2012

    " This is a hard but interesting read. By hard I mean it is one of those books you read with other books over time so this one is in progress. Fascinating though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 5/14/2012

    " Very well done bio, excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 5/5/2012

    " The best biography of our nation's 32nd president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He served as president during the Great Depression and World War II and also was the only president to serve the longest term in office. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Miller | 7/11/2011

    " Very readable and full of detail. Great if you are looking for a detailed front-on bio of FDR. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanne Clower | 4/19/2011

    " I guess I'm on an American presidents biography jag. What an excellent book. It gives a great overview of FDR's life and is unabashedly pro-Roosevelt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 3/9/2011

    " Best biography I've ever read, and potentially the best history book I've read. Sweeping in magnitude, FDR doesnt forget the interesting and often humorous details that make history so rich and exciting. Five stars hardly expresses how much I enjoyed reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 2/27/2011

    " Incredible, unabashed, and honest. Really goes beyond the bounds of typical Presidential biographies. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/3/2011

    " No mention of Japanese internment camps? Really? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 8/9/2010

    " Great book. Unbiased account of FDR's life, his policies and WWII. Highly recommend to anyone interested in an iconic American politician. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 6/13/2010

    " Very well done bio, excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 4/8/2010

    " An extremely readable biography about a complex man, and a complex presidency. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 2/11/2010

    " Interesting, although exhaustive, book about FDR...very open about his faults, prejudices, and affairs. There is so much detail that I sometimes skimmed over passages (the book is over 1,000 pages...good for weight-lifting!), but still retained a lot of information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheik | 12/22/2009

    " She got everything right but Pearl Harbor. "Day of Deceit: FDR and Pearl Harbor" gives the true picture as reseaarched over 40 years in my experience.
    The information about the new deal is great in this book. "

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About the Author
Author Jean Edward Smith

Jean Edward Smith is an acclaimed biographer and university professor. Named “Today’s foremost biographer of formidable figures in American history” by George Will, he has written biographies on a number of prominent figures in US history. His work has earned him many awards and accolades; his biography of Ulysses S. Grant was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2002, and his biography on President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower in War and Peace, was a New York Times bestseller. Currently, Smith is the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University; he also taught previously at the University of Toronto as a professor of political economy for 35 years. 

About the Narrator

Marc Cashman is a three-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for audiobook narration. His voice has also been heard locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally on radio, television, film, documentaries, radio plays, and video games.