Conrad Black narrates the story of FDR's life with an obvious affection for his subject. Black's portrait shows FDR as a supercilious, facile young man who stretches the truth often to the breaking point; the courageous quadriplegic, struck down by poliomyelitis at age 39, just as he was about to step onto the national political scene, his character radically changed for the good by his affliction; the reforming governor of New York (1928-1932); and the 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945), by Black's standards one of the greatest Chief Executives in American history.
FDR's many accomplishments as President ensure his place in history: He transformed the American nation into the modern welfare state we know today, enabling the US to better care for its citizens. He led American opinion from profound isolationism to an acceptance of, and support for, the eventual entry of the United States into World War II. As a war leader, he made sound strategic choices, and his choices of men to run the machinery of war were uniformly excellent. He communicated effectively with Allied leaders, especially Churchill and Stalin, and he maintained the confidence of the forces under his command, and the American public at large. He created the circumstances that enabled succeeding Presidents to complete the allied victory in World War II. He mastered the American political system as no other politician before or since. He maintained such a high degree of popularity with the electorate that he was elected to four terms as President.
This report prepared by Mike Powers