Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Final Victory (Da Capo), Stanley Weintraub
Historian Stanley Weintraub's Final Victory, about the 1944 presidential campaign between the popular but aged three-time incumbent, Franklin Roosevelt, and Republican challenger Thomas Dewey, arrives appropriately enough during another election year. This helps us focus our attention and discern the similarities and differences between then and now. Thankfully, Weintraub's well-researched and entertaining voyage through that long-ago, unprecedented campaign makes the effort all the more rewarding. Witness the GOP blaming FDR for the Pearl Harbor raid, creating a massive bureaucracy and putting the United States on the road to Socialism. Meanwhile, Democrats reminded voters of who was in charge when the Great Depression started, how Republicans attempted to thwart every economic reform and that there was a war yet to be won.