The Defining Moment

  • by Jonathan Alter
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this dramatic and fascinating account, Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter shows how Franklin Delano Roosevelt used his first 100 days in office to lift the country from the despair and paralysis of the Great Depression and transform the American presidency. Instead of becoming the dictator so many wanted in those first days, FDR rescued banks, put men to work immediately, and laid the groundwork for his most ambitious achievements, including what eventually became the Social Security Administration. Alter explains how FDR's background and experiences uniquely qualified him to pull off an astonishing conjuring act that saved both democracy and capitalism. Jonathan Alter, a Newsweek Senior Editor, has written the widely acclaimed "Between the Lines" column since 1991, examining politics, media, and society at large. For the last decade, he has also worked as an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC Broadcasting, including Today, NBC Nightly News, and MSNBC. Grover Gardner is one of the spoken word industry's most esteemed and versatile performers. He has recorded hundreds of books and has garnered an Audie Award, 18 Earphones Awards, and was deemed to have one of the "Best Voices of the Century" by AudioFile magazine. He was also named Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly.

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What the Critics Say

"A most readable book....A reflection on the way that Roosevelt reinvented the presidency....Alter's account has a refreshing buoyancy, not unlike its protagonist." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Alter goes on to document FDR's early programs, pronouncements, and maneuvers with succinct accuracy." (Publishers Weekly)
"A book like this, revealing the power of presidential speeches, should be read, in FDR's repetition for emphasis, 'again and again and again'." (William Safire)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

defining book on FDR

I have read several books on FDR, but this one comes closest to revealing his character and what made him tick.
By concentrating on the first 100 days the author is able to supply suficient details behind the historic events. The author's premise is that FDR'S various character traits both good and bad were responsible for his success and strong leadership skills, during the critical time of early 1933, when the depression came close to dragging the U.S. into chaos. A must read for all American history buffs.
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- Steven

Making of the President

Alter talks a good deal about FDR before 1933. In fact, the ‘making of the president’ portion might be the best part. As for the hundred days, I must confess a little disappointment. I had hoped for more history and less interpretation.
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- Tom F

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-28-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.