“A brilliant full-length portrait of Franklin Roosevelt the politician”—the first in an award-winning two-volume biography (The Christian Science Monitor).

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving president in United States history, reshaping the country during the crises of the Great Depression and World War II. But before his ascension to the presidency, FDR laid the groundwork for his unprecedented run with decades of canny political maneuvering and steady consolidation of power.
 
In this remarkable New York Times–bestselling biography, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian James MacGregor Burns traces FDR’s rise and the peculiar blend of strength and cunning that made him such a uniquely transformative figure. Weaving together lively narrative and impressive scholarship, Burns reconstructs his youth and education at Groton and Harvard, his relationships with his cousins Theodore and Eleanor, his immersion in New York State politics, and his rise to national prominence, all the way through his first two terms as president, which saw the historic New Deal take hold and the drumbeats of World War II begin.
 
Originally published in 1956, The Lion and the Fox was among the first studies of Roosevelt—and it remains a landmark record of his ambitions, talents, and flaws. Hailed by the New York Times as “a sensitive, shrewd, and challenging book” and by Newsweek as “a case study unmatched in American political writings,” Burns’s stunning achievement is the life story of a fascinating political figure.
  
An “immensely interesting” account of how Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor led the United States through some of its most turbulent decades (David McCullough).
 
The Three Roosevelts is the extraordinary political biography of the intertwining lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who emerged from the closed society of New York’s Knickerbocker elite to become the most prominent American political family of the twentieth century.
 
As Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author James MacGregor Burns and acclaimed historian Susan Dunn follow the evolution of the Roosevelt political philosophy, they illuminate how Theodore’s example of dynamic leadership would later inspire the careers of his distant cousin Franklin and his niece Eleanor, who together forged a progressive political legacy that reverberated throughout the world. Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt led America through some of the most turbulent times in its history. The Three Roosevelts takes readers on an exhilarating voyage through these tumultuous decades of our nation’s past, and these momentous events are seen through the Roosevelts’ eyes, their actions, and their passions. Insightful and authoritative, this is a fascinating portrait of three of America’s greatest leaders, whose legacy is as controversial today as their vigorous brand of forward-looking politics was in their own lifetimes.
 
“A remarkable example of narrative and biographical history at its best.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“A detailed study . . . Written with impeccable scholarship.” —Houston Chronicle
 
“Show[s] how TR set FDR off on reform, and how Eleanor pushed Franklin, and how FDR used Eleanor as his legs . . . and as his conscience.” —The Boston Globe
 
The authorized biography of John F. Kennedy offers a fresh and candid look at what shaped the man America came to love and admire, just as he was on the cusp of the presidency

Historian, political scientist, and Pulitzer Prize–winning author James MacGregor Burns wrote Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, the first volume of his highly acclaimed biography of FDR, in 1956. Two years later, Burns ran for a seat in Congress and became close friends with John F. Kennedy, who was also campaigning throughout the state for reelection to the Senate. After Burns lost his election, he decided to write a biography of JFK. Without any restrictions, Kennedy granted his friend complete access to files, family records, and personal correspondence. The two men spoke at great length in Washington, DC, and at the Kennedy family compound on Cape Cod, and afterwards, Kennedy asked his relatives, friends, and political colleagues to talk openly with Burns as well. The result is a frank, incisive, and compelling portrait of Kennedy from his youth to his service in World War II and his time in Congress.

While many political biographies—especially those of presidential candidates—intend to depict a certain persona, Burns would not allow anything other than his own perception to influence him. And so, John Kennedy concludes questioning whether JFK would make “a commitment not only of mind, but of heart” to the great challenges that lay ahead. (Burns would later admit that his subject did bring both bravery and wisdom to his presidency.) First published just as Kennedy was coming into the national spotlight, this biography gives a straightforward and exciting portrayal of one of the twentieth century’s most important figures.
"The urgent question of our time is whether we can make change our friend and not our enemy....To renew America, we must be bold...must revitalize our democracy....Together with our friends and allies, we will work to shape change, lest it engulf us."
With those inaugural words, William Jefferson Clinton began his first term as President of the United States. Now, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and a former White House aide provide the first penetrating, thoughtful evaluation of President Clinton's leadership.
Before he was voted into office, Bill Clinton told the authors in an interview that he wanted to be a transforming leader, a president who would fashion real and lasting change in peoples' lives, in the tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But how has this president, who has sought to lead from the center with his vice president, Al Gore, and the First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, measured up against his own stated goals and the aspirations and performances of other presidents since World War II? From the health care debacle and the 1994 midterm elections that swept the Republicans to a majority in both houses of Congress to the effect of scandal and impeachment on his ability to govern, Dead Center examines the leadership style of Bill Clinton and offers a forceful challenge to the strategy of centrism.
There is no more respected presidential historian than James MacGregor Burns, author of several acclaimed books on leadership and the Pulitzer Prize-winning study of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Georgia J. Sorenson adds her own insights as a political scientist and presidential scholar. Their combined efforts have resulted in an incisive, informative, authoritative work and an absorbing read.
"With this profound and magnificent book, drawing on his deep reservoir of thought and expertise in the humanities, James MacGregor Burns takes us into the fire's center. As a 21st-century philosopher, he brings to vivid life the incandescent personalities and ideas that embody the best in Western civilization and shows us how understanding them is essential for anyone who would seek to decipher the complex problems and potentialities of the world we will live in tomorrow." --Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989

"James MacGregor Burns is a national treasure, and Fire and Light is the elegiac capstone to a career devoted to understanding the seminal ideas that made America - for better and for worse - what it is." --Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author Revolutionary Summer

Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling historian James MacGregor Burns explores the most daring and transformational intellectual movement in history, the European and American Enlightenment

In this engaging, provocative history, James MacGregor Burns brilliantly illuminates the two-hundred-year conflagration of the Enlightenment, when audacious questions and astonishing ideas tore across Europe and the New World, transforming thought, overturning governments, and inspiring visionary political experiments. Fire and Light brings to vivid life the galaxy of revolutionary leaders of thought and action who, armed with a new sense of human possibility, driven by a hunger for change, created the modern world. Burns discovers the origins of a distinctive American Enlightenment in men like the Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and their early encounters with incendiary European ideas about liberty and equality. It was these thinker-activists who framed the United States as a grand and continuing experiment in Enlightenment principles.

Today the same questions Enlightenment thinkers grappled with have taken on new urgency around the world: in the turmoil of the Arab Spring, in the former Soviet Union, and China, as well as in the United States itself. What should a nation be? What should citizens expect from their government? Who should lead and how can leadership be made both effective and accountable? What is happiness, and what can the state contribute to it? Burns's exploration of the ideals and arguments that formed the bedrock of our modern world shines a new light on these ever-important questions.

On 1 April, 1945, the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific Theater began. The battle for the island of Okinawa would last for the next eighty-two days. Through the course of this dramatic battle over 20,000 Americans would lose their lives and over 75,000 Japanese were killed in one of the bloodiest clashes of World War Two. Okinawa: The Last Battle is a remarkably detailed account of this monumental event by four soldiers who witnessed the action first-hand. They take the listener to heart of the fight explaining the preparations for the invasion, under its codename Operation Iceberg, through to the major conflicts at the beachhead, Ie Shima, breaking through the defenses surrounding Shuri and overcoming the last-ditch counter-offenses of the Japanese. This book is a must-listen for anyone interested the Pacific Theater and how the United States Marines and Army were able to overcome the Japanese in the last few months of the war. Corporal Eugene B. Sledge said of the battle: "The Japanese fought to win-it was a savage, brutal, inhumane, exhausting and dirty business." Okinawa: The Last Battle was written by U. S. Army historians who participated in the Ryukyus campaign as members of a group organized to accompany the American forces to the Ryukyus and secure at first hand the materials for a history of their operations. Maj. Roy E. Appleman was attached to the 27th Division, M/Sgt. James M. Burns and Lt. Col. Stevens accompanied the Tenth Army headquarters, and Capt. Russell A. Gugeler served with the 7th Division on Okinawa. After the war many of the authors went on to become prominent military historians. Appleman passed away in 1996, Burns in 2014, Stevens in 2001, and Gugeler in 1985. Their work was first published in 1948.
For decades, James MacGregor Burns has been one of the great masters of the study of power and leadership in America. Now he turns his eye to an institution of government that he believes has become more powerful-and more partisan-than the Founding Fathers ever intended: the Supreme Court. Much as we would like to believe that the Court remains aloof from ideological politics, Packing the Court reveals how often justices behave like politicians in robes. Few Americans appreciate that the framers of the Constitution envisioned a much more limited role for the Supreme Court than it has come to occupy. In keeping with the founders' desire for balanced government, the Constitution does not grant the Supreme Court the power of judicial review-that is, the ability to veto acts of Congress and the president. Yet throughout its history, as Packing the Court details, the Supreme Court has blocked congressional laws and, as a result, often derailed progressive reform. The term packing the court is usually applied to FDR's failed attempt to expand the size of the Court after a conservative bench repeatedly overturned key elements of the New Deal. But Burns shows that FDR was not the only president to confront a high court that seemed bent on fighting popular mandates for change, nor was he the only one to try to manipulate the bench for political ends. Many of our most effective leaders-from Jefferson to Jackson, Lincoln to FDR-have clashed with powerful justices who refused to recognize the claims of popularly elected majorities. Burns contends that these battles have threatened the nation's welfare in the most crucial moments of our history, from the Civil War to the Great Depression-and may do so again. Given the erratic and partisan nature of Supreme Court appointments, Burns believes we play political roulette with the Constitution with each election cycle. Now, eight years after Bush v. Gore, ideological justices have the tightest grip on the Court in recent memory. Drawing on more than two centuries of American history, Packing the Court offers a clear-eyed critique of judicial rule and a bold proposal to rein in the Supreme Court's power over the elected branches.
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