FDR's Mentors: Navigating the Path to Greatness (Hardcover)

FDR's Mentors: Navigating the Path to Greatness By Michael J. Gerhardt Cover Image

FDR's Mentors: Navigating the Path to Greatness (Hardcover)


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A unique and illuminating exploration of the key relationships that shaped Franklin Delano Roosevelt into one of America’s most definitive leaders and impacted his influence on the world stage, from presidential historian Michael J. Gerhardt, the acclaimed author of Lincoln’s Mentors and principal adviser in the official annotation of the Constitution at the Library of Congress.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt wasn’t a born leader. He became one. As a boy he was in poor health, was insecure, and an average student at best. Growing into manhood, the lessons he learned came not from books but from influencers of his lifetime, beginning with Endicott Peabody, the most renowned US headmaster of the twentieth century. He instilled in Roosevelt a confidence and strength that empowered the young student and propelled him to greatness as one of the most revered presidents of the United States.

For Roosevelt, Peabody was only one of a small number of people who helped him develop the skills and temperament that enabled him to overcome the devastating effects of polio, to lead the nation through two crises, and to secure America’s leadership in the world. In FDR’s Mentors, Michael Gerhardt tells the extraordinary stories of the men and women who had a vital impact on Roosevelt’s life, career, and pragmatic personality: his distant cousin Teddy; his wife Eleanor; President Woodrow Wilson; journalist Lewis Howe; Winston Churchill; and New York Democratic Party leader Al Smith.

Form the creation of the New Deal through Roosevelt’s war with the Supreme Court to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt persevered with never-ending grit, grace, limitless optimistism, and patience. It is thanks to the invaluable personal connections, inspiration, and wisdom of those who shaped and informed FDR’s historic presidency—one that has become a model of resilience and, in turn, an influence on every president who has followed in his path.
Michael J. Gerhardt is the Burton Craig Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Scholar in Residence at the National Constitution Center, and the acclaimed author of nonfiction books including FDR’s Mentors, Lincoln’s Mentors, The Federal Impeachment Process, and The Power of Precedent. A nationally recognized constitutional scholar who has testified more than twenty times before Congress, he was called by the House Judiciary Committee during President Trump’s impeachment proceedings, spoke to the House of Representatives during President Clinton’s impeachment, and twice served as CNN’s impeachment expert. In addition, he was the first legal scholar to serve as the Library of Congress’ principal adviser in revising the official annotation of the United States Constitution. He lives with his family in Chapel Hill, NC.
Product Details ISBN: 9780806542539
ISBN-10: 0806542535
Publisher: Citadel
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English
Praise for Michael J. Gerhardt

“Michael J. Gerhardt has done it again! Writing in the tradition of his superb and innovative Lincoln’s Mentors, his latest offering, F.D.R.’s Mentors: The Path to Greatness, brilliantly and concisely explores the shaping of the mind and governmental philosophy of the man who changed how American government and democracy worked, guiding the U.S. country through the greatest economic and military crises of the Twentieth Century. Written in the best intellectual traditions of history, biography, political science, and law, F.D.R.’s Mentors distills library rooms of volumes on the life and work Franklin D. Roosevelt, the architect of the New Deal and Commander-in-Chief during World War II, into an engaging, one-volume history of the intellectual origins of a monumental 13-year presidency . . . No library on the New Deal era or on Franklin D. Roosevelt will be complete without this important new work.” —Bruce Allen Murphy, author of Scalia: A Court of One on FDR’s Mentors
"A fluidly written history of how Franklin Roosevelt rose to become one of our nation's greatest leaders—and of those who taught him how to do so. Gerhardt has produced an original, inspiring, and historically insightful book." —C.W. Goodyear, author of President Garfied: From Radical to Unifier on FDR’s Mentors

“Abraham Lincoln had less schooling than all but a couple of other presidents, and more wisdom than every one of them. In this original, insightful book, Michael Gerhardt explains how this came to be.”The Wall Street Journal on Lincoln’s Mentors

"Michael Gerhardt's Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know succinctly defines the procedure and summarizes its history, extent, and usage not only in Washington but in several states and around the world." WORLD
“Gerhardt reveals the real powers behind Roosevelt’s throne, the men and women who shaped his personality and politics. From his school days to his presidency, Roosevelt chose friends, acquaintances, and advisors judiciously and, as Gerhardt shows, wisely. In crisp, lucid prose, Gerhardt peels back the layers of mystique to reveal the people who truly did help Roosevelt navigate the path to greatness.” —Matthew Algeo, author of When Harry Met Pablo: Truman, Picasso, and the Cold War Politics of Modern Art on FDR’s Mentors
“Readers of the Roosevelt era know FDR was a rare amalgamation of winning traits, but where did they come from? Michael J. Gerhardt’s new book describes in rich detail how the thirty-second president came to command the fulsome personality that led the United States through the crises of Depression and World War II. Roosevelt’s optimism, charm, and wit would not have been enough to meet the challenges at home and abroad. It was by decades of observing and learning from headmasters and soldiers, journalists and presidents, that FDR added audaciousness, resolve, and conviction. Gerhardt’s deeply researched and highly readable book illuminates how a singular power evolved at a critical moment in American history.” —Christopher C. Gorham, author of The Confidante on FDR’s Mentors
“In an unusual and intriguing approach, Gerhardt paints a compelling portrait of FDR through the friends and mentors that helped shape him into one of the nation’s greatest political leaders.” —Scott Martelle, author of 1932: FDR, Hoover and the Dawn of a New America on FDR’s Mentors