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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 Audiobook, 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: January 2009 ISBN: 9781400180417
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/31/2013

    " good and enlightening history of the progressive movement's history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirk Bower | 12/8/2013

    " Great insight to FDRs first 100 days and the importance of one of the greatest cabinets put together. Francis Perkins (1st woman cabinet member) was a great unsung hero! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 12/1/2013

    " Although this book is a political history non-fiction, I really enjoyed it. It didn't only focus on FDR, but on all of his cabinet members and advisors, their private and public lives. Now is an ideal time to read this book. It takes you from the Great Depression to the success of FDR's New Deal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 11/20/2013

    " Adam Cohen did an impressive amount of research on each of FDR's influential cabinet members for this book- very detailed and engaging history about the group that wrote and pushed through the New Deal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Darsey | 10/26/2013

    " Always interesting to get the view from another angle... Being not a huge FDR fan, it was educational to get Cohen's take on the how, why & who put together the New Deal. I disagree with much of their philosophies, but they were trying to make things better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 G. | 1/29/2013

    " President Obama was reading this when he became President. You can see how he used it as a road map. Fortunately, times were not as bad. Unfortunately, that means he got considerably less done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 6/24/2011

    " Very interesting book about the first 100 days of FDR's administration. Good information about Frances Perkins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kevin | 4/9/2011

    " so many striking similarities to this moment in history...it's also very well-written, and it reads much quicker than i expected it to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 1/15/2011

    " Fascinating study of FDR's first 100 days and the depression he
    faced...crash of the banking system; massive unemployment; homelessness;
    hunger. Well worth a read today in 2010. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 7/31/2009

    " Very interesting book about the first 100 days of FDR's administration. Good information about Frances Perkins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kevin | 6/28/2009

    " so many striking similarities to this moment in history...it's also very well-written, and it reads much quicker than i expected it to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dkeslin | 5/21/2009

    " 5/21 An in depth analysis of Roosevelt's first 100 days and all of the programs he put into place. It talks about the ideas that didn't work and the ones that did, many of which we still have in place today. "

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About the Author
ADAM COHEN, a former member of the New York Times editorial board and senior writer for Time magazine, is the author most recently of Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America.  A graduate of Harvard Law School, he was president of volume 100 of the Harvard Law Review.
About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.