What Obama Can Learn from FDR

The Feb. 12 issue of The New York Review of Books highlights a selection of new works about Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, including “Traitor to His Class” by UT Historian H.W. Brands.

In the story “A Revolutionary President,” Russell Baker suggests the blooming of FDR books “…probably has a lot to do with Barack Obama’s assuming the presidency at a moment of economic breakdown just as Roosevelt did seventy-six years ago.”

The New York Review of Books isn’t the only media outlet to take note of the Obama-FDR connection. Brands has spoken about the lessons FDR’s presidency holds for the Obama administration in a number of commentaries and interviews.

Check some of the stories:
• CNN: “When a black man was invited to the White House,” Nov. 6.
• NPR: “What Obama Can Learn from FDR and Reagan,” Nov. 20.
• PBS NewsHour: “Lincoln, Roosevelt Presidencies Offer Lessons for Obama,” Nov. 27.
• MarketWatch: “In Obama’s inaugural speech, crisis is opportunity,” Jan. 16.
• Detroit Free Press: “Nation has high expectations for Obama,” Jan. 17.

Brands’ FDR Biography Hits Bookstores Tomorrow

History Professor H.W. Brand’s new FDR biography “Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt” (Doubleday, 2008) hits bookstores tomorrow.

For insight on Brands’ inspiration for the project, check out book editor Jeff Salamon’s interview with the historian in the story “TR, FDR, and Ph.D.’s: Two Austin historians discuss all things Roosevelt” from the Nov. 1 issue of the Austin American-Statesman.

Brands heads out on a nationwide book tour for “Traitor to his Class” this week. Visit his Web site for more info on cities and tour dates.

Austinites: If you missed Brands’ talk at the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople will host a signing for “Traitor to His Class” next Monday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m.