Libro 11/52 :: FDR by Jean Edward Smith




Remember back in the mid-2000’s when there was a run on musical biographies?


Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles.

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter.




Hopefully Lincoln will spark a run on presidential biopics, including George Washington and FDR, rounding out the top three presidents of all-time.



No… Hyde Park on the Hudson with Bill Murray playing Franklin doesn’t count. Focusing on FDR’s extramarital affairs is akin to doing likewise with Michael Jordan or Albert Einstein.






Their failure to uphold the sanctity of marriage may be disappointing to some. Among other things it proves they are human, despite their genius. Whatever.


Point being: an FDR biopic could win best picture. And Jean Edward Smith’s great biography, FDR, could lend a hand.



FDR’s career is unbelievable.




Asst. Secretary of the Navy in WWI

Spoke French & German (invaluable in the wars)

Governor of New York

Polio victim

Ended The Depression

President during WWII



That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

FDR won four presidential elections and led our nation for 12 years. No wonder he died in office. That’s brutal work.



Smith’s story-telling in FDR has incredible pace. It made this book an easy read. No easy chore when the book spans FDR’s entire life and then some.


Screen shot 2013-03-09 at 3.48.58 PM


When it comes to the presidential triumvirate of Washington, Honest Abe, and FDR, Lincoln is getting all the press these days. But as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, just remember who repealed Prohibition.





Bottom Line: First presidential must-read of the Libro 52 Challenge. Very good book. Incredible career.



Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle ( He’s reading 52 books this year – or at least he’s trying. 


Screen shot 2013-03-09 at 3.52.52 PM



LIBRO 52 Challenge YTD

1. Kennedy/Nixon by Chris Matthews

2. Poke the Box by Seth Godin

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

NA. Buy-In by John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead

4. Education of an Accidental CEO by David Novak

5. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

6. Blood, Brains and Beer by David Ogilvy

7. Lyndon Johnson :: Master of the Senate by Robert Caro

8. 1776 by David McCullough

9. To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink

NA. Profiles In Courage by JFK*

10. Write It When I’m Gone by Tom DeFrank

11. FDR by Jean Edward Smith

Categories: Libro 52 Challenge

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27 replies


  1. Libro 12/52 :: The Cluetrain Manifesto by Locke, Searls, Weinberger + Levine | redanglespanish
  2. Libro 13/52 :: One Click by Richard Brandt | redanglespanish
  3. Libro 14/52 :: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations by Nancy Duarte | redanglespanish
  4. Libro NA/52 :: James K. Polk by Walter Borneman | redanglespanish
  5. Libro 15/52 :: The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw | redanglespanish
  6. Libro 16/52 :: The Illustrious Dead by Stephan Talty | redanglespanish
  7. Libro 17/52 :: The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk | redanglespanish
  8. Libro 18/52 :: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink « the red angle
  9. Libro 19 + 20/52 :: Thunderstruck by Erik Larson + In Cold Blood by Truman Capote « the red angle
  10. Libro 21/52 :: Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel « the red angle
  11. Libro 22 + 23/52 :: Down & Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind + Makers by Chris Anderson « the red angle
  12. Libro 24/52: Tales From Q School by John Feinstein « the red angle
  13. Libro 25/52: The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker « the red angle
  14. Libro 26/52: 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman « the red angle
  15. Libro 27/52: Drive by Dan Pink « the red angle
  16. Libro 28/52 :: Enough by John Bogle « the red angle
  17. Libro 29/52 :: Contagious by Jonah Berger « the red angle
  18. Libro 30/52 :: Lexicon by Max Barry « the red angle
  19. Libro 31 + 32/52 :: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman + A Very Short Tour of the Mind by Michael Corballis « the red angle
  20. Libro 33/52 :: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton « the red angle
  21. Libro 34 + 35/52 :: Choose Yourself by James Altucher + The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzwieg. « the red angle
  22. Libro 36/52 :: Inside The Box by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg. « the red angle
  23. Libro 37 + 38/52 :: The Power of Less by Leo Babauta + Wild by Cheryl Strayed « the red angle
  24. Libro 39/52 :: Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. « the red angle
  25. Libro 42/52 :: Black Irish by Stephan Talty « the red angle
  26. Libro 43/52 :: The Firm by Duff McDonald « the red angle
  27. Libros 44-50 :: The final chapter of the Libro 52* Challenge. « the red angle

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