Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

The FDR Story is a swiftly moving, information-filled biography of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century. Catherine Owens Peare follows Franklin Delano Roosevelt through history chronologically, recounting his youth in Hyde Park, New York, along the Hudson River, his relationship with his parents and extended family, and his schooling at Groton and then Harvard and Columbia universities. The book then describes his entrance into politics, his courtship of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, and his ascendance to the New York statehouse and a position of leadership in the Democratic Party. Despite his tragic affliction with polio and his lifelong struggle against the crippling disease, Roosevelt emerged as a national leader, and Peare traces his presidency during the difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II, including his many New Deal programs, his dealings with world leaders, and his controversial and strongly opposed initiatives and innovations. The book concludes with an account of his gradual deterioration and death.

In telling this expansive story, Peare writes concisely, and few words are wasted. She includes quotes from Roosevelt’s speeches, letters, and conversations, as well as some from the people that surrounded him, and even replicates conversations to provide the biography with an authentic air. The narrative is full of factual details such as names, places, events, dates, laws, and organizations, and Peare...

(The entire section is 492 words.)