Freedom from Fear

  • by David M. Kennedy
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • 31 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This Pulitzer Prize-winning history tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities.
The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s. For more than a century before 1929, America's unbridled industrial revolution had gyrated through repeated boom-and-bust cycles, wastefully consuming capital and inflicting untold misery on city and countryside alike.
Freedom from Fear explores how the nation agonized over its role in World War II, how it fought the war, why the United States won, and why the consequences of victory were sometimes sweet, sometimes ironic. In a compelling narrative, Kennedy analyzes the determinants of American strategy, the painful choices faced by commanders and statesmen, and the agonies inflicted on the millions of ordinary Americans who were compelled to swallow their fears and face battle as best they could.
Both comprehensive and colorful, this account of the most convulsive period in American history, excepting only the Civil War, reveals a period that formed the crucible in which modern America was formed.
Please note: The individual volumes of the series have not been published in historical order. Freedom from Fear is number IX in The Oxford History of the United States.


What the Critics Say

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2000
“An engrossing narrative of a momentous time.” (New York Times Book Review)
“This is the kind of book prizes are made for.” (Chicago Tribune)
“[Traces] the American people through three of the most important and widely written about epochs in the century…and provides us with consistently original and sometimes startling conclusions.” (Washington Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well done, But a little off target

There was too much emphasis on statistics and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this book for my taste. I wanted to hear what the times were like in the words of people who lived through them.The author chose to portray the select circle of the movers and shakers. The book that was written was well done. The writing had a good flow and there were many interesting details about events and people. The author went out of his way to give Herbert Hoover credit for being a good President who was overwhelmed by circumstances. Many of the issues of the times were set forth well.It was made clear that Roosevelt suffered a long term loss in prestige when he proposed the court packing plan. I have enjoyed the Oxford series and several are outstanding books. I didn't think this was one of the best but it is a well written and thoroughly researched work of history. The narrator was competent, not particularly good or bad.
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- W. F. Rucker "eclectic reader"

Good summary of a pivotal time.

While not very deep, this book presents a balanced overview of the Roosevelt presidency and provides a good jumping off point for those (like myself) who are interested in exploring selected topics from this era in greater detail. "Freedom from Fear" provides a balanced view of FDR, citing his accomplishments, but not sugar coating the mistakes and personal flaws of this most controversial figure.
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- Ray "Say something about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.