Download His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt Audiobook

His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt Audiobook, by Joseph Lelyveld Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Joseph Lelyveld Narrator: Dan Woren Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9780735286788
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From the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, an intimate and hugely insightful account of Roosevelt’s final months of life, when, despite a dire medical prognosis, he was determined to be re-elected, deal with Stalin, and bring the war to a successful conclusion.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is often ranked among the greatest of American presidents, but his legacy has never been considered like this: through the lens of his final sixteen months. This little-examined period encompasses the D-Day invasion, the Manhattan Project, the Yalta conference—and the discovery that he was suffering from severe hypertension and congestive heart failure.

With precision and compassion, Joseph Lelyveld examines the choices Roosevelt made in this period, illuminating his state of mind, his preoccupations, and his motives, both as a wartime leader and in his personal life. Confronting his own mortality, Roosevelt operated under the belief that he had a duty to see the war through to the end—while simultaneously pressured by the demands of family, health, and volatile enemies. Lelyveld delivers an incisive portrait of this famously inscrutable man, full of contradictions but a consummate leader to the very last.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A masterpiece, in dramatic prose, combining deep research, subtle imagination, and ingenious speculation, as well as a vivid analysis of ‘The Great Tantalizer,’ the ‘devout utilitarian.’ His Final Battle is the work of a seasoned reporter/historian, elegantly written, hard to put down and impossible to forget. Fritz Stern, author, Five Germanys I Have Known
  • Gripping… Masterfully told… Lelyveld brings to this project a complex mind (but approachable language) equal to Roosevelt’s complex character (but comforting rhetoric)… A heroic and poignant picture. The Boston Globe
  • "A compellingly nuanced, almost day-by-day account of the great man’s final year of life. Time
  • “A careful, somber and sometimes harrowing account of FDR’s last 16 months… [Lelyveld’s] full and disciplined investigation of an important theme makes a significant contribution to FDR scholarship. The Wall Street Journal
  • A gripping book that will substantially deepen readers’ understanding of a critical time in U.S. history. Foreign Affairs
  • Joseph Lelyveld combines his long-honed reporting experience with a historian’s eye firmly fixed on this important story… Chock full of illuminating revelations… If you are faintly nauseated by the current state of American politics, turn off the cable channel that appeals to your prejudices, and let Mr. Lelyveld take you to a vastly more enlightening time when the main characters had plenty of flaws but also vastly compensating bravery and vision. The Washington Times
  • Lelyveld’s storytelling skill, his investigative thoroughness and his total dedication to historical fact remain evident throughout... Intense and substantive. The Buffalo News
  • Rarely has Franklin Delano Roosevelt been portrayed with such steely-eyed insight… A deeply revealing look at a famously enigmatic president… A masterful study of a masterful politician, a fresh look at one of the most beloved and complex of presidents. BookPage
  • Meticulous… The author expertly puts together a string of poignant clues to FDR's last acts… An elegant, affecting work that offers fresh insights on a much-mythologized president. Kirkus, starred review
  • Joseph Lelyveld traces the last, challenging months of FDR’s life with a pitch-perfect blend of meticulous reporting, careful analysis, and deep humanity. For all that has been written about Roosevelt, this deeply-moving book adds significantly to our understanding of that remarkable man. Gay Talese

    “With a seasoned journalist’s built-in skepticism and a gifted historian’s scrupulous respect for evidence, Joseph Lelyveld leads us deeper into Franklin Roosevelt’s  'thickly forested interior’ at the end of his life than anyone has ever gone before. His Final Battle is now required reading for anyone who wants to understand the twentieth century’s most consequential—and most mysterious—president.
  • A spellbinding example of the biographer’s craft, His Final Battle by Joseph Lelyveld paints a portrait of Franklin Roosevelt as president, statesman, and commander in chief, frail and dying, but heroic in his resolve to win the war and preserve the peace that would follow. Deftly interweaving the public and the private, the political and the personal, making use of documents and details others had neglected, Lelyveld offers us an unparalleled historical narrative of the last year of the war and the dramatic story of a singular man and the unthinkable challenges he confronted in the final months of his presidency and his life. David Nasaw, author, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
  • A New York Times Notable Book of 2016
  • A gripping, deeply human account... Moving, elegiac. The New York Times Book Review
  • Splendid and richly detailed... President Roosevelt won reelection in November, was inaugurated in January, and died in April, three months into his fourth term. After that came the cold war and atomic weapons and a new diplomatic policy called 'mutual assured destruction.' Lelyveld shows with clarity and shrewd judgment how it came about. The New York Review of Books
  • Psychologically intense... Pinning down FDR’s innermost thoughts is always an elusive goal for a scholar, but Lelyveld... has the fortitude and skill to properly analyze FDR’s decision-making process. What makes His Final Battle so exceptional is Lelyveld’s admirable ability to write nonfiction with highly stylized lyrical beauty. The Washington Post
  • “Powerful, clear-eyed, and briskly-told, Lelyveld’s account of the last months of a 20th century colossus is great history. It’s a wonder Franklin Roosevelt was ever able to get out of bed, let alone guide the Allies through the most perilous period the world had ever known. If you think you knew FDR, think again—Joe Lelyveld brings him to fresh life, in all his human dimensions. Timothy Egan, author, The Immortal Irishman
  • “At once human and analytical, His Final Battle illuminates the perplexing zone where personal fate and large historical processes intertwine. The book offers a beautifully-realized, impossible to put down chronicle making fresh connections that deepen understanding of FDR's closing confrontations with crises of health and global leadership. Ira I. Katznelson, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time 
  • “Dan Woren[‘s] fluid style is easy on the ears and carries listeners along nicely…Woren wisely chooses not to impersonate FDR’s distinctive voice in direct quotations, and his pauses are well timed and effective.”


  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice

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About the Author

Joseph Lelyveld is the author of several books, including Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White, which won the Pulitzer Prize. He spent nearly four decades as a reporter and editor at the New York Time and served as executive editor from 1994 to 2001.

About the Narrator

Dan Woren is an American voice actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He has worked extensively in animation, video games, and feature films. He is best known for his many roles in anime productions such as Bleach and as the voice of Sub-Zero in the video game Mortal Kombat.