01 December 2013

The Man He Became ~ James Tobin

 **** RECOMMEND ****

How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency

In depth and specific
Well researched, well told 

FDR "defied" polio but wasn't "defined" by it ... yet it definitely shaped the President he became.  Polio sharpened his character and remodelled his ethics.  The argument presented isn't that FDR became President in spite of his polio, or that FDR became President because of his polio, but, as the title says so clearly, the argument is about the man (and President) he became.  

The author stays on task and presents a lot of interesting information and statistics about polio, its causes and its effects. There is also a lot of social information about the perception of those with disabilities and how FDR challenged this.  FDR had to overcome the illness (physically and mentally) and not waver from his ambition to be President.

Not just a fascinating account of polio and FDR, but also full in interesting insights into the society of the day, this is an excellent read.  The book finished with FDRs nomination, but I would have liked a little more of the "man he became" of the title, not just winning the Presidency but an indication of the "man he became" as evidenced in his policies and actions as President.