One of the great challenges of writing a biography of America's 32nd president is encapsulating such a challenging character, complex life, and momentous career into the pages of a single volume. Doing so successfully requires incorporating his patrician background and upbringing, his marriage to one of the most remarkable women in American history, his early career in state and national politics, his affliction and adaptation to polio, his successful ascent to the presidency, and his management of two of the greatest challenges the United States and the world has ever faced. Though many have tried, few have pulled it off as well as Jean Edward Smith. A longtime political scientist and biographer, he draws upon both an enormous documentary record and the numerous studies that have been published to describe Franklin Roosevelt's life and achievements within the context of a changing America. Though he uncovers little that s new, he examines it with a critical eye that discovers quite a few insights missed by previous chroniclers. Thanks in no small measure to this, Smith's book stands among the finest biographies of Franklin Roosevelt ever written, one that can be read with profit both by the experienced reader and by anyone seeking a thorough yet accessible account of Franklin Roosevelt and his presidency.