The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

Version: Unabridged
Author: Jonathan Alter
Narrator: Grover Gardner
Genres: North America, Public Policy
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: May 2006
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 12 hours, 35 minutes
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"The Defining Moment" shows how Roosevelt used his famous "fear itself" speech and his first 100 days in office to lift the country from the despair and paralysis of the Great Depression and transform the American presidency. With its themes of a nation in crisis and a strong executive, "The Defining Moment" is not only an inspiring political story, but also a book that is pertinent to today's debates over both foreign and domestic affairs.

Reviews (8)

More than 100 days

Written by Anonymous on January 25th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This was a decent book, but I was expecting more about his actions during the first 100 days of his presidency. It wasn't until CD 7 of 10 that he was elected to office.

FDR and the lessons for today

Written by RML on January 7th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very enlightening book. FDR was before my time and my view of that period and time was a textbook view. This book added color and context to FDR and the depression for me. Given our current economic times I found it very easy to relate. FDR was a very complex individual much more a cross between Ronald Regan and what we hope for in Barak Obama. He was a man of contrasts, but clearly the right person at the right time for our country. Another time in history and FDR may not have been such a great president. The book gives lots of insight into the politics, the challenges and the decisions at one of the most important junctures in our country history. A great book for us to read at our current critical juncture in history, a lot the be learned both good and the mistakes. A must read for our times and problems we face today.

Fantastic Read

Written by C Vee on July 3rd, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved this book. It was a strong, balanced account of FDR. I especially appreciated the context that the author provided regarding FDR's life and career prior to the 100 days.

The Defining Moment:FDR's 100 Days

Written by Anonymous from St. Louis, MO on June 18th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Well written, balanced view of FDR focusing on the first 100 days of his administration. The author weaves in relevant details from FDR's life before the presidency which add richness and context to the book. A must read for anyone with a strong interest in the Depression and the years leading up to WW2.

The Defining Moment

Written by Anonymous from Merrick, NY on February 20th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I enjoyed the book. Provided details behind the decisions that were made during 100 days that allowed you to understand why certain paths were chosen.

Defining Moment

Written by Anonymous from Osterville, MA on January 21st, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is an excellent and balanced work with some new insights and good perspective.

Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

Written by Paul Farber on December 9th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I thought I was well versed on FDR but I was surprised by the new information and insights I obtained by reading Jonathan Alter's book. He dissects FDR and his political expertise and how he engineered the road to the White House. FDR's relationship to Eleanor and her importance as the First Lady are detailed. I was impressed with the fluidity of the text and its organization into a cogent, well-structured and balanced appraisal of FDR and his times.

Great feel of the time period

Written by Anonymous from Woodstock, GA on October 14th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Always enjoy Alter's writing, and The Defining Moment gives you a chance to understand the tipping point that came in early 1933 just as Roosevelt took office. Also enjoyable, but not distracting, were Alter's comments lightly sprinkled comparing and constrasting Roosevelt's actions with similar ones taken by more recent presidents.

Author Details

Author Details

Alter, Jonathan

Jonathan Alter is a senior editor at "Newsweek", where, since 1991, he has written an acclaimed column on politics, history, media, and society at large. He is also an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News. Alter lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and three children.