The Plots Against the President

The Plots Against the President

FDR, A Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right

Book - 2012
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In March 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt finally became the nation's thirty-second president. The man swept in by a landslide four months earlier now took charge of a country in the grip of panic brought on by economic catastrophe. Though no one yet knew it-not even Roosevelt-it was a radical moment in America. And with all of its unmistakable resonance with events of today, it is a cautionary tale.

The Plots Against the President follows Roosevelt as he struggled to right the teetering nation, armed with little more than indomitable optimism and the courage to try anything. His bold New Deal experiments provoked a backlash from both extremes of the political spectrum. Wall Street bankers threatened by FDR's policies made common cause with populist demagogues like Huey Long and Charles Coughlin. But just how far FDR's enemies were willing to go to thwart him has never been fully explored.

Two startling events that have been largely ignored by historians frame Sally Denton's swift, tense narrative of a year of fear: anarchist Giuseppe Zangara's assassination attempt on Roosevelt, and a plutocrats' plot to overthrow the government that would come to be known as the Wall Street Putsch. The Plots Against the President throws light on the darkest chapter of the Depression and the moments when the fate of the American republic hung in the balance.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2012.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781608190898
Characteristics: x, 273 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Feb 22, 2014

An incredible book, easily 10 stars. Ms. Denton has performed sterling research, presenting factual information which many, if not most, Americans will be unaware of. I think Ms. Denton conveys the most important testimony (by J.P. Morgan, Jr., pp. 130-133) elicited by Ferdinand Pecora in 1933, than Mr. Perino writes about in his book on Pecora (The Hellhound of Wall Street). I admit to my own ignorance of the wealthy background Douglas MacArthur came from (his uncle was JP Morgan partner, Edward Stotesbury, worth over $100 million). This is a stunningly great book! (I was taken aback to learn Ms. Denton had a fellowship, at one time, at the Hoover Institution; usually the bastion of righwingers and religionists.) Extremely highly recommened to people who wish to understand what is taking place today (and to understand the lasting effect of old money: du Pont was one of the Wall Street interests behind the attempted coup, just as they funded the American Enterprise Institute and closer to the present, Gingrich's Contract On America back in the 1990s). [Compare and contrast this book and scholarly research with Annie Jacobsen's horrible Operation Paperclip - - either rotten research on Jacobsen's part, or disingenuous information provided to the reader.]


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