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Download Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by H. W. Brands Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,175 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: H. W. Brands Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A brilliant evocation of the qualities that made FDR one of the most beloved and greatest of American presidents.

Drawing on archival material, public speeches, correspondence and accounts by those closest to Roosevelt early in his career and during his presidency, H. W. Brands shows how Roosevelt transformed American government during the Depression with his New Deal legislation, and carefully managed the country’s prelude to war. Brands shows how Roosevelt’s friendship and regard for Winston Churchill helped to forge one of the greatest alliances in history, as Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin maneuvered to defeat Germany and prepare for post-war Europe.

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Quotes & Awards

  • H.W. Brands is a master at finding the essence of an important American life, telling its story grippingly and showing us why it is important to our own generation.  With Traitor to His Class, he has surpassed even his own high standard.  This judicious and compelling work is the first major one-volume biography written by an historian too young to have lived in Franklin Roosevelt's time.  It deserves a wide audience, especially among those younger Americans who need to be told why we all owe so much to FDR. Michael Beschloss
  • This is a rare book, indeed, shedding new light and brilliant insight upon an elusive subject we thought we knew well.  In this elegant, all-encompassing portrayal, master historian H. W. Brands shows us a leader who got the big issues right and, in doing so, forever changed the expectations of the world.  Traitor to His Class will quickly emerge as the finest one-volume biography of FDR. David Oshinsky, Winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for History
  • We live in the world Franklin Roosevelt created, and we can never know enough about him. In this illuminating portrait of the man who proved far more radical than his upbringing would have ever suggested, H. W. Brands has painted FDR in bright and brilliant colors. Jon Meacham, author of Franklin and Winston and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
  • “H.W. Brands’s wonderful new biography of Roosevelt…shows the precision and attention to detail that one would expect from a scholar and, at the same time, [it] reads like a novel…It is rich in insights and fresh perspectives that will appeal to the expert and the general reader alike. This may well be the best general biography of Franklin Roosevelt we will see for many years to come.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Very much worth reading.”

    New Yorker

  • “A thoroughly readable, scrupulously fair assessment of the one president who could inspire a Mt. Rushmore makeover.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “[Brands] explain[s] in detail how this ambitious Hudson Valley patrician, the coddled son of an elderly father and dominating mother, managed to defy his family and social class and become the most reform-minded president in U.S. history. The best part of Brands’s book is his vivid account of FDR’s early life and pre-presidential career.”

    Washington Post

  • "H.W. Brands has accomplished a remarkable feat in this terrific work. As if he were creating characters in a novel, he has brought to vivid life the central figures in his story--FDR, Eleanor, Sara Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and the inner circle in the White House--while at the same time providing a fresh understanding of the rich historical context for their thoughts and actions at every step along the way. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Team of Rivals

  • If you want to understand how a great president should act, Traitor to His Class is must reading
    New York Observer
  • H.W. Brands’s wonderful new biography of Rooseveltshows the precision and attention to detail that one would expect from a scholar and, at the same time, reads like a novel…it is rich in insights and fresh perspectives that will appeal to the expert and the general reader alike. This may well be the best general biography of Franklin Roosevelt we will see for many years to come. Christian Science Monitor
  • Very much worth reading. The New Yorker
  • Impressive...Roosevelt was prepared to be radical to meet dangerous circumstances. Yet his instincts and the outcomes of many of his policies were often conservative. As a radical, he saved the old order--and advanced Ameriacn power more than any president since Jefferson...Courage, charm, resourceful cunning and a hidden hardness enabled him to save American capitalism, though, as he said himself, it was Dr. Win-the-War, not Dr. New Deal, that ended the Depression. Mr. Brands is masterly in describing the patience with which FDR brought the country to understand the danger of fascism. The Economist
  • The longest-serving president in U.S. history, Roosevelt was arguably the most inscrutable. He kept no diary, wrote no autobiography and unburdened himself to no one. Even his wife had no idea what was on his mind...Brands explains in detail how this ambitious Hudson Valley patrician, the coddled son of an elderly father and dominating mother, managed to defy his family and social class and become the most reform-minded president in U.S. history. Washington Post Book World
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2009 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Biography/Autobiography
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Joe | 2/5/2014

    " Overall, this was exactly what I was looking for: I knew bits and pieces about FDR's presidency, but not much else about him. This gave a good picture of who he was before he became president, and some of the highlights of his presidency. A couple of things I would have liked to see that it didn't have: (1) More about the non-war stuff in America from 1939 on. Yes, the war was the dominant theme at that point, but there must still have been other things happening, right? (2) More about Eleanor and her role during his presidency, especially during the war; my impression is that she remained a significant figure during that time, even though their personal relations were bad. (3) A bit of an epilogue. The book ends pretty abruptly upon his death; it would have been nice to have a bit of a look at what came next, and how FDR's influence played out after his death. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ken | 2/3/2014

    " "Traitor to his class" is a balanced look at one of the most controversial presidents in US history. Brands gives FDR credit where credit is due but is also quite willing to place blame where it is needed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda | 1/30/2014

    " A good overview of FDR's life and presidency but a little too long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom | 1/27/2014

    " Writing any biography of Franklin Roosevelt is a difficult task, as any honest historian will tell you. The man kept no journal, few if any personal writings, and died in office before he could write a memoir. Those close to him, including family and friends, never really knew what he was thinking or feeling since he was not in the habit of sharing such things. As such, Brands did a good job with what he could. Covering such a life, starting with his overprivledged childhood under an overbearing mother, into his stormy marriage to Eleanor, and then on to his political career and eventual rise to the presidency, culminating in his stiding onto the world stage as one of the most powerful and influential men of his time. FDR is a man who doesn't sit still and won't let polio slow him down or stop his ambitions, still with his own flaws and far from perfect. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in this important but enegmatic figure. "

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