September 27, 2013

Richard Moe spoke about his book, Roosevelt's Second Act: The Election of 1940 and the Politics of War, at Politics & Prose on Friday, September 27, 2013.

On August 31, 1939, nearing the end of his second and presumably final term in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was working in the Oval Office and contemplating construction of his presidential library and planning retirement. The next day German tanks had crossed the Polish border; Britain and France had declared war. Overnight the world had changed, and FDR found himself being forced to consider a dramatically different set of circumstances.

In Roosevelt's Second Act, Richard Moe focuses on a turning point in American political history: FDR's decision to seek a third term. Often overlooked between the passage and implementation of the New Deal and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, that decision was far from inevitable. As the election loomed, he refused to comment, confiding in no one, scrambling the politics of his own party; but after the Republicans surprisingly nominated Wendell Willkie in July 1940, FDR became convinced that no other Democrat could both maintain the legitimacy of the New Deal and mobilize the nation for war. With Hitler on the verge of conquering Europe, Roosevelt, still hedging, began to maneuver his way to the center of the political stage.

Moe offers a brilliant depiction of the duality that was FDR: the bold, perceptive, prescient and moral statesman who set lofty and principled goals, and the sometimes cautious, ambitious, arrogant and manipulative politician in pursuit of them. Immersive, insightful and written with an inside understanding of the presidency, this book challenges and illuminates our understanding of FDR and this pivotal moment in American history.

Roosevelt's Second ACT: The Election of 1940 and the Politics of War Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780190266288
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - September 1st, 2015

September 8, 2013

John Lewis spoke about his book, March, Book One, at Politics & Prose on Sunday, September 08, 2013.

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

March: Book One Cover Image
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781603093002
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Top Shelf Productions - August 13th, 2013

August 13, 2013

Brenda Wineapple spoke about her book, Ecstatic Nation, at Politics & Prose on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

For America, the mid-nineteenth century was an era of vast expectation and expansion: the country dreamed big, craved new lands, developed new technologies, and after too long a delay, finally confronted its greatest moral failure: slavery. Award-winning historian and literary critic Brenda Wineapple explores these feverish, ecstatic, conflicted years when Americans began to live within new and ever-widening borders, both spiritual and geographic; fought a devastating war over parallel ideals of freedom and justice; and transformed their country, at tragic cost, from a confederation into one nation, indivisible.

Populated by idiosyncratic, unforgettable characters such as P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, George Armstrong Custer, Horace Greeley, and Jefferson Davis, Ecstatic Nation moves from the vehement debates about slavery through the devastations of the Civil War and its aftermath. It explores the terrible complexities of Reconstruction and the fledgling hope that women would share equally in a new definition of American citizenship, and it traces the lust for land and the lure of its beauty from a frenzied rush to riches to the displacement of Indians. And it looks forward--toward the promise of a more perfect Union for all.

A masterful synthesis of political, cultural, and intellectual history, breathtaking in sweep and scope, Ecstatic Nation is a spellbinding tale of America--its glory and greed, its aspirations and humiliations--in this exhilarating and momentous period.

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 (American History) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780061234583
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - August 5th, 2014

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