The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

Ken Burns

Language: English

Pages: 528

ISBN: 0307700232

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

New York Times Bestseller 

A vivid and personal portrait of America’s greatest political family and its enormous impact on our nation, which expands on the hugely acclaimed seven-part PBS documentary series, bringing readers even deeper into these extraordinary leaders’ lives
With 796 photographs, some never before seen
The authors of the acclaimed and best-selling The Civil War, Jazz, The War, and Baseball present an intimate history of three extraordinary individuals from the same extraordinary family—Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Geoffrey C. Ward, distilling more than thirty years of thinking and writing about the Roosevelts, and the acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns help us understand for the first time that, despite the fierce partisanship of their eras, the Roosevelts were far more united than divided.

All the history the Roosevelts made is here, but this is primarily an intimate account, the story of three people who overcame obstacles that would have undone less forceful personalities.

Theodore Roosevelt would push past childhood frailty, outpace depression, survive terrible grief—and transform the office of the presidency.

Eleanor Roosevelt, orphaned and alone as a child, would endure her husband’s betrayal, battle her own self-doubts, and remake herself into the most consequential first lady in American history—and the most admired woman on earth.

And Franklin Roosevelt, born to privilege and so pampered that most of his youthful contemporaries dismissed him as a charming lightweight, would summon the strength to lead the nation through the two greatest crises since the Civil War, though he could not take a single step unaided.

The three were towering personalities, but The Roosevelts shows that they were also flawed human beings who confronted in their personal lives issues familiar to all of us: anger and the need for forgiveness, courage and cowardice, confidence and self-doubt, loyalty to family and the need to be true to oneself. This is the story of the Roosevelts—no other American family ever touched so many lives.

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known a great many years. My heart has always been here. It always will be.” To the president’s left are Franklin Roosevelt Jr. and his wife, Ethel du Pont Roosevelt; John Roosevelt and his wife, Anne Clark Roosevelt; Sara Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor. Credit 6.31 The Arsenal of Democracy Roosevelt redoubled his efforts at aiding Hitler’s enemies. In a December fireside chat, he declared that the Nazis could never be appeased: “No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it.” The only

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Secret Service wanted to send an escort; the first lady refused to have one, but she did agree to carry a revolver in her glove compartment—though she carried no ammunition with which to load it. When one man in Canada heard Eleanor give her last name he asked if she happened to be any relation to the late Theodore Roosevelt, whom he had greatly admired. Yes, she answered, “I am his niece.” They had tea together without his ever figuring out that she was married to the current president of the

had to be convinced that Sara was, as he said, “earnestly, seriously, entirely” in love. She was. James Roosevelt and Sara Delano were married on October 7, 1880, just six months after they met. A guest remembered that several women wept at the thought that “such a lovely girl should marry an old man.” On January 30, 1882, at Springwood, they had a son. Sara and her baby very nearly did not make it. Labor had stretched on for more than twenty-four hours. Sara was given too much chloroform. The

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