A vivid and personal portrait of America’s greatest political family and its enormous impact on our nation—the companion volume to the seven-part PBS documentary series
With 796 photographs, some never before seen
The authors of the acclaimed and best-selling The Civil War, Jazz, The War, and Baseball present an intimate history of three extraordinary individuals from the same extraordinary family—Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Geoffrey C. Ward, distilling more than thirty years of thinking and writing about the Roosevelts, and the acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns help us understand for the first time that, despite the fierce partisanship of their eras, the Roosevelts were far more united than divided.
All the history the Roosevelts made is here, but this is primarily an intimate account, the story of three people who overcame obstacles that would have undone less forceful personalities.
Theodore Roosevelt would push past childhood frailty, outpace depression, survive terrible grief—and transform the office of the presidency.
Eleanor Roosevelt, orphaned and alone as a child, would endure her husband’s betrayal, battle her own self-doubts, and remake herself into the most consequential first lady in American history—and the most admired woman on earth.
And Franklin Roosevelt, born to privilege and so pampered that most of his youthful contemporaries dismissed him as a charming lightweight, would summon the strength to lead the nation through the two greatest crises since the Civil War, though he could not take a single step unaided.
The three were towering personalities, but The Roosevelts shows that they were also flawed human beings who confronted in their personal lives issues familiar to all of us: anger and the need for forgiveness, courage and cowardice, confidence and self-doubt, loyalty to family and the need to be true to oneself. This is the story of the Roosevelts—no other American family ever touched so many lives.
About Geoffrey C. Ward
Geoffrey C. Ward is the author of seventeen books, including three focused on FDR: Before the Trumpet: Young Franklin Roosevelt, 1882–1905; A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt (which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); and Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship Between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley. A longtime collaborator with Ken Burns, he has also won seven Emmys and written twenty-seven historical documentaries for PBS, either on his own or in collaboration with others, including The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.
About Ken Burns
Ken Burns, director and producer of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, has been making documentary films for more than thirty-five years. Since the Academy Award–nominatedBrooklyn Bridge in 1981, Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War, and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Burns’s films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including thirteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Oscar nominations; and in September 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Burns was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ken Burns is represented by Random House Speakers Bureau (http://www.rhspeakers.com).
"Impressively thorough . . . Starting with Teddy’s asthma-plagued youth and ending with Eleanor’s death in 1962, every aspect of their lives and legacies is touched upon. Hundreds of photos, newspaper clippings, and accompanying captions flesh out the story, which expands to cover their friends and family, enemies, and (alleged) lovers. . . . Part history, part biography, Ward and Burns strike the perfect balance between information and entertainment, keeping the tone casual yet authoritative . . . the perfect coffee table book treatment."
—Publisher's Weekly (starred)
“The very definition of ‘lavishly illustrated’ . . . a lucid text . . . superbly curated photographs . . . documenting such things as bracing hunts in the Rockies, anti-lynching demonstrations in Washington and boats full of teenage soldiers powering toward the beaches of Normandy . . . Excellent, as we have come to expect from the team of Ward and Burns—an eye-opening look at a political dynasty worthy of the name and at a state of politics far better than our own.”