A child of wealth and privilege possessing unlimited will and ambition, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, seemed destined for the presidency. The nation he lead was large in population, rich in resources, committed to a universal ideology of liberal democracy, and destined for grand geopolitical power. A man and a nation were each poised on the brink of greatness. FDR's twelve years in The White House culminated in what can justly be called an 'American century'. This convergence of individual and national destinies created a large and complex story that remains essential to our understanding the world in which we live in today.
There are many accounts of Roosevelt's life; some of them are laudatory tributes; some of them are non-interpretive narratives. In the new book Man Of Destiny: FDR And The Making Of The American Century distinguished historian Alonzo Hamby presents an economical treatment of Roosevelt's life, acknowledging genuine achievements while recognizing significant failure. Alonzo Hamby is distinguished professor emeritus at Ohio University.
Originally aired November 2015.