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Author Reconstructs FDR's 'Defining Moment'


Franklin Delano Roosevelt held the office of president during one of the most trying economic times in U.S. history, The Great Depression. In his new biography, The Defining Moment, Jonathan Alter goes behind FDR's handling of the crisis.

One new find revealed in Alter's book is a draft of a radio speech Roosevelt planned to give on his first day in office, one that included a bold assertion of authority to draft a private army from members of the American Legion. The draft was discarded, and Roosevelt moved away from the "dictator" style of leadership that some felt was needed. Read on for more about the speech, and FDR's first day in office.

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