(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In describing Roosevelt’s personality and life, Peare maintains a healthy distance, never truly penetrating his mind or emotions but rather viewing her subject factually and externally. Her tone is generally admiring and sometimes even becomes swooning or grand. Her purpose is clearly to portray Roosevelt as a unique and magnificent individual whose career and convictions offer an inspirational example to young people.

The subject of Peare’s biography is a man of courage and confidence. She often describes his handsome appearance, his mellifluous voice, his general charm and affability, and the wonderful effect that he had on people. He is also seen throughout as a loving and devoted family man. Peare credits many of his political successes to his charisma and likability, including the challenging task of reaching trinational agreement with Great Britain’s Winston Churchill and the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin on postwar policy. Beginning with a description of his early interest in birds and stamp collecting, Peare shows Roosevelt’s consistent enjoyment of life, even through periods of turmoil, and his involvement in myriad activities. He is portrayed as an individual of indefatigable energy and an indomitable spirit.

Nowhere is this spirit more evident than in his battle with polio. Peare devotes substantial attention to this aspect of Roosevelt’s life, especially to the effects that the disease and his handicap had on his personality. Although her portrait is generally positive, Peare...

(The entire section is 624 words.)