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Download Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Nothing to Fear: FDRs Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America, by Adam Cohen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (237 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adam Cohen Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nothing to Fear brings to life a fulcrum moment in American history—the tense, feverish first one hundred days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency, when he and his inner circle completely reinvented the role of the federal government. When FDR took his oath of office in March 1933, more than 10,000 banks had gone under following the Crash of 1929, a quarter of American workers were unemployed, and riots were breaking out at garbage dumps as people fought over scraps of food. Before the hundred days, the federal government was limited in scope and ambition; by the end, it had assumed an active responsibility for the welfare of all of its citizens. Adam Cohen provides an illuminating group portrait of the five members of FDR's inner circle who, more than any others, drove this unprecedented transformation. These five men and women frequently pushed FDR to embrace more radical programs than he would have otherwise. FDR came to the White House with few firm commitments about how to resolve this national crisis—as a politician he was more pragmatic than ideological and, perhaps surprising given his New Deal legacy, a fiscal conservative by nature. Instead, he relied heavily on his advisers and preferred when they had conflicting views so that he could choose the best option among them. For this reason, he kept in close confidence both Frances Perkins—a feminist before her time and the strongest advocate for social welfare programs—and Lewis Douglas, an entrenched budget cutter who frequently clashed with the other members of FDR's progressive inner circle. Rather than commit to a single solution or ideology, FDR favored a policy of "bold, persistent experimentation." As a result, he presided over the most feverish period of government activity in American history, one that gave birth to modern America. The political fault lines of this era—welfare, government regulation, agriculture policy—remain with us today. Nothing to Fear is both a riveting narrative account of the personal dynamics that shaped the heady hundred days and a character study of one of America's defining leaders in a moment of crisis. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Cohen humanizes the policy process and adds considerable drama to the established storyline. Chicago Tribune
  • “Cohen’s well-told story belies the cliché about legislation and sausage-making: his narrative is absorbing and enjoyable to read.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Adam Cohen’s cogent chronicle of the pell-mell opening months of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration couldn’t be timelier…In a lucid, intelligent narrative as fast-paced as the hectic Hundred Days, Cohen skillfully charts the course of events with just enough detail, building by accretion a portrait of the stop-and-start process by which sweeping change is made.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Timely and engaging…Cohen masterfully renders the backgrounds and personalities of Roosevelt’s inner circle…Cohen humanizes the policy process and adds considerable drama to the established storyline.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “An elucidating, pertinent, and timely work on the makings of government. Ambitious, yet well-focused—a marvelously readable study of an epic moment in American history.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “An exemplary and remarkably timely narrative of FDR’s famous first ‘Hundred Days’ as president…Cohen’s exhaustively researched and eloquently argued book provides a vital new level of insight into Roosevelt’s sweeping expansion of the federal government’s role in our national life.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anne | 2/18/2014

    " It was really interesting and well written - I found it to be especially relevant given today's political climate and economic problems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Maria | 2/1/2014

    " This was a fascinating book to listen to. I had no idea that many of the New Deal ideas that I attributed to FDR were in fact ideas championed by his cabinet members. Ideas that they fought to convince FDR would work. I also learned that the first female cabinet member served under FDR. I will need to learn more about Francis Perkins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Will | 1/11/2014

    " This's a compelling page-turner even though I was left hungry for details about the sausage making and less about the inner circle's individual backgrounds and personalities. I understand many details of the era and its crises. I also learned a few things about myself as a reader; I read this while also perusing "The Well-Educated Mind." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Julie | 1/2/2014

    " I listened to the audio version of this book. It was interesting reading this in the context of our times today - to see how so many of the innovations of that day remain with us; and how we are trying to replicate some of them now. You also think about the old adage "those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it" as you see what led up to the Glass Steagall act, so that Americans would have more financial protection. Then 60 years later Clinton moved to have it repealed; Bush and his cronies pushed the envelope further... and look what happened. Another financial collapse! It is scary to see how close our country was to anarchy and again, you wonder similar things in comparison to today. I thought the part about Frances Perkins, first female cabinet member, was exceptionally interesting and I plan to read the recent bio of her for further info. "

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