xvi, 415 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Prologue: Sunday, March 5, 1933 -- pt. 1: Lightweight steel. Security ; "My boy Franklin" ; "Miss Nancy" ; Eleanor and Sara ; Dilettante ; "The medieval gnome" ; The operator ; The "ghastly affliction" -- Warm Springs dress rehearsal ; "I've got to be it myself" -- pt. 2: The ascent: 1932. "Brother, can you spare a dime?" ; "This doesn't go for above the neck" ; "Try something" for "the forgotten man" ; The Brain Trust ; The hair-splitter ; The "corkscrew candidate" ; Off the reservation ; Flight to Chicago ; The Bonus Army ; The trial of Jimmy Walker ; "Hang Hoover!" -- pt. 3: The crisis: winter 1933. The perfect foil ; Under the mattress ; "Wooden roof" and other cabinetry ; Nearly martyred in Miami ; "Damn the secretary" ; "Gabriel over the White House" ; The hairy hand ; Reluctant First Lady ; "Like hell I will!" -- pt. 4: The Hundred Days. "Fear itself" ; The consecration ; "An injection of adrenalin" ; "Action now" ; That temperament ; Holiday spirit ; "Surpassing charm" ; That voice ; "The chief croupier" ; Roosevelt's "tree army" ; The blue eagle ; Social Security ; "Dr. New Deal" -- Appendix: Inaugural address, March 4, 1933 ; First Fireside Chat, March 12, 1933.
This is the story of a political miracle--the perfect match of man and moment. FDR took office in 1933 as America touched bottom. Banks were closing, millions of people lost everything--the Great Depression had caused a national breakdown. Journalist Alter brings us closer than ever before to the Roosevelt magic. Facing the gravest crisis since the Civil War, instead of circumventing Congress and becoming the dictator so many thought they needed, FDR used his cagey political instincts and ebullient temperament in the storied first Hundred Days of his presidency to pull off a conjuring act that lifted the country and saved both democracy and capitalism. Alter shows us how a snobbish and apparently lightweight young aristocrat was forged into an incandescent leader by his domineering mother; his independent wife; his eccentric top adviser, Louis Howe; and his ally-turned-bitter-rival, Al Smith.--From publisher description.