Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|FDR - A Presidency Revealed |
Actor: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Genres: Television, Documentary
For twelve years he stood as America's 32nd President, a man who overcame the ravages of polio to pull America through the Great Depression and WWII. From his legendary Fireside Chats to his sweeping New Deal, Franklin Del... more »
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Greatness and Pettiness of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Serge J. Van Steenkiste | Atlanta, GA | 09/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FDR a Presidency Revealed, a two-DVD set of The History Channel, will delight both connoisseurs and neophytes. Archival footage, diary extracts, interviews with people who knew Franklin Delano Roosevelt, comments of leading historians, and the narration of Edward Herrmann make this series one of the best visual productions dedicated to FDR.
The History Channel opts for a chronological approach to its subject. FDR proved once more that only an optimist has ever created a revolution or a movement. To build his political career, FDR drew his main inspiration from his cousin Teddy Roosevelt. The career path that FDR followed, gave him plenty of opportunities to show his creativity and drive and prepared him very well to ultimately assume America's 32nd presidency. Polio, which struck FDR in adulthood, was ultimately no match for his insatiable political ambitions.
With the help of his wife, Eleanor, FDR overcame some of his prejudices about less privileged fellow Americans to get an understanding of the issues at hand and, at times, make controversial compromises to get things done. For twelve years, FDR did not spare his efforts to first pull the country out of the Great Depression and then to successfully wage war on the side of mainly Great Britain and the former Soviet Union against the Axis powers during WWII.
To its credit, The History Channel does not gloss over the shortcomings of FDR. Here follow a few examples for illustration purposes only. Unlike Eleanor, FDR condoned segregation in the South to keep the Democratic establishment on his side. Furthermore, FDR could be vindictive as it happened after his unsuccessful showdown with the U.S. Supreme Court during his second term in office. On top of that, FDR did not hesitate to make promises in public that he knew he could not keep subsequently. The inevitable entry of the U.S. into WWII comes to mind here. Finally, unlike Eleanor, FDR supported the popular, but morally reprehensible internment of Japanese-Americans in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.
Perhaps, the only major critique that could be leveled against FDR a Presidency Revealed, is a lack of emphasis on the controversy surrounding FDR's attitude towards (American) Jews and the Holocaust.
To summarize, FDR a Presidency Revealed ranks among the best productions ever made for a broad audience.
Even his greatest enemies considered him the only one capabl
Personnalité- ( S. Robert Tod. ) | 04/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is really incredible only three reviews about this fantastic product and what is more important about such a huge man, a real giant, I am really perplex when I came here to write this review I was expecting hundreds of them, I thought that american people loved this man as I love.
As I said above, by the time Franklin Delano Roosevelt won democratic party to run for President even his greatest enemies considered him the only man in the USA capable of saving the country from the great depression. What nobody knew was that that man had already won his most important war against a desease that had paralyzed his legs. Is moving to watch him erect, confident, addressing his first inaugural speech and saying to american people "The only thing we have to fear, It is fear itself". In the sequence of historical events, following this genius leader, his government team created such an amount of public policies that have shaped the way the world can be seen nowadays, all you can see was created by him and his presidency team, for example the way the whole world bank system functions, you can see that his new deal has been used by presidents like Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil for example with programs like "Bolsa família and bolsa escola", his health programs has been copied all around the world, we can really say that after him nothing is new in politics and government administration and policies. As if all these things weren't enough this man saved the world, together with the allied forces, winning the second world war. You are going to watch in these DVD'S that the most important decicions were taken by him, he was the architect of that victory. In my opinion Mr. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that was elected(really elected by the american people) to four terms as President is the greatest president ever. I have absolutely no doubt, "Roosevelt was and is the "Greatest President Ever", and not only of the United States, but of all world and of all times. There isn't even one only politician that can be compared to him in the world history. The only reason why some people put Lincoln above this man is because of pure demagogy.
Demagogue people want to show that they think and they guess "and they really don't think and really don't guess" that the abolition of slavery is more important than to save all the country and all the world from the greatest crises both have passed in their history. President Lincoln was genius but President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was superior. This man is my inspiration in life, the greatest winner of all times."
Interesting primarily for the great archive film footage
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 04/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is part of the History Channel's Presidencies Revealed series. There is a series of similar length that was part of the American Experience series on PBS. I think the PBS production is vastly superior to this particular one. There are two reasons for this. First, the History Channel's series is a bit of a mess narratively. It moves all over the place, neither thematically hanging together nor linearly. I've read a couple of dozen books on FDR and I couldn't discern much of a rhyme or reason in this one. The second problem is that the script tried to make FDR's legacy far more dubious than just about any reputable scholar would. I'm not saying that FDR was a perfect president. Far from it. His successes and failings are wildly agreed upon. The high points were the way he lifted the nation from despair during the Depression, laying the foundation for the social safety net that has reduced by incalculable levels national suffering and tragedy, and leading the free world to victory in the greatest conflict in the history of the world (the latter an achievement laid at FDR's feet by both Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin). But especially in the first half of the documentary the documentary seeks to highlight the negative and minimize the positive even as the bulk of the commentators fail to support the script.
FDR had an astonishing record. He did more to remake America than any president either before or after him (with the possible exception of Lincoln, who managed to present the nation's dissolution). The New Deal legislation recreated America and despite occasional carping just about every American strongly supports this legacy. The turning point in Bush 43's term--the beginning of America's increasing dissatisfaction with him--was when he attempted to undo the major piece of New Deal legislation, Social Security. It is almost impossible to overstate how vast his influence was. For instance, he did more by far than any other American to raise the higher educational level of the nation by putting forth the G.I. Bill. Hundreds of thousands of middle class Americans who previously would not have gone to college did so upon the end of the war.
Nonetheless, there were some huge negatives. Upon these nearly everyone agrees. The first was FDR's court packing scheme. Even his most passionate supporters (of whom I am one) can only look at this moment with embarrassment and disappointment. A second low point in his presidency was the sudden and dramatic decrease in federal spending early in his second term, in his effort to balance the budget. The economy was still too fragile and without the government priming the pump America went into what is known as The Roosevelt Recession (though it is interesting that while economists and historians agree that the recession resulted from the sudden decrease in spending, contemporary opponents of the New Deal ahistorically want to claim that it was somehow the spending in the first term that caused the recession). A third major lowpoint of FDR's terms in office were on racial matters. In order to maintain the support of southern senators and congressmen, FDR went out of his way not to speak out on racial matters and even failed to support anti-lynching legislation. And in WW II he agreed to the placing of Japanese Americans on the west cost in camps. While FDR was not sure that the internment camps were needed or desirable, but he nonetheless gave in despite his personal reservations. The first half of this series is somewhat misleading in hinting that the negatives in FDRs administration might be more general and widespread.
But ultimately the biggest problem with the series is that the four episodes comprising the series are somewhat disconnected from one another. The first two, which are the weakest of the four, hang together fairly well, but the second two represent something of a break with the first two and the first quarter of the fourth episode largely recapitulates the third. I just don't think that this series provides an especially good overview of FDR's presidency, somewhat failing to "reveal" his terms in office.
Nonetheless, the series is must-see viewing for any student of FDR. The film footage is extraordinary. As much as I love the PBS series on FDR, this History Channel equivalent may have even better footage. There are many speeches that I have not seen footage of before. The narrative could have been even weaker than it is and the series would still have been well worth watching due to the great film footage. You get a real sense of just how charismatic FDR truly was. And you see first hand just how extraordinary he was as a public speaker. If you know much about FDR's presidency, some of the film excerpts are especially interesting. The footage showing Wilkie accusing FDR of wanting to take America to war and FDR denying that he would do so. All this while FDR privately knowing that war was inevitable. In fact, his main motivation for running for a third term was to lead America in the conflict he did not think that anyone could avoid. Yet, he knew that if he were to state this openly he could not be reelected. So, on the one hand he ran a campaign based on keeping America out of the war in Europe, even while he strove to lay the foundations for victory in that war.
Even though I have multiple reservations about this series, it should be seen by anyone who is interested in either FDR or American history. I do, however, strongly recommend the PBS American Experience series over this one. It does by far the better job of revealing FDR's presidency."
FDR-A Presidency Revealed
Marie Christman | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I ejoyed this informative presentation very much. I would buy it again."