HST528 - Shayne Martin HST528 Dr. Giglio 12May 10, 2006...

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Shayne Martin Dr. Giglio HST528 12May 10, 2006 Book Review: In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to four terms as president of the United States, dying in his forth. Through the three full terms her served many programs were initiated in his New Deal program and quite a few jobs were created. He came to power during the great depression and his jobs gave the country hope and they loved him for it. When FDR died in 1945 a while after he was re-elected the nation was shocked. The time of his death would serve to canonize him as almost a legend among presidential greats like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. This legacy FDR left affected every president from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. This is the theme of the book In the Shadow of FDR by William E. Leuchtenburg. No one had dominated the presidential arena for so long. He had directly contributed to the presidencies of his first four successors by directly advancing their careers in Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson, and in Kennedy by he gaining familiarity with Washington when FDR named Kennedy’s father to office. Also the programs that these first four successor, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society all drew off of FDR’s programs and experiments. From Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan, FDR’s presence was felt in a way that the policies and the comparisons were hard to deny. Harry Truman was effected by the loss of this great man probably the most due to he being FDR’s vice president. Harry S. Truman came into the office of the president by accident; FDR had died on April 12, 1945. The nation was shocked and greatly mourned the loss of the great president. Many saw FDR as their hero and could hardly fathom losing a great man such as he. Even FDR’s secretaries had a hard time with his death in the way that when someone shouted, “The
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President is coming out,” one of the secretaries was stunned and then began to cry, she said, “I thought he mean the President – I mean President Roosevelt.” (Leuchtenburg 2). Truman had from then on live up to a legacy that had been made a legend by great programs and an unsuspected death. The country could hardly believe that Truman was the president and even some men had a hard time calling him by Mr. President. Although Truman did try to continue FDR’s programs many thought the way Truman handled things were far from the way FDR would have. Truman’s popularity plummeted. By the time for re-election in 1949 Truman was hated amongst many people. While being hated Truman would have many people that would heavily oppose him, including FDR’s two sons FDR jr. and James Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt wasn’t too fond of Mr. Truman as well, even though he had earlier appointed her to a high
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HST528 - Shayne Martin HST528 Dr. Giglio 12May 10, 2006...

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