Nothing to Fear

Nothing to Fear : Fdr's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America

3.92 (540 ratings by Goodreads)
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"A fascinating account of an extraordinary moment in the life of the United States." --The New York Times With the world currently in the grips of a financial crisis unlike anything since the Great Depression, Nothing to Fear could not be timelier. This acclaimed work of history brings to life Franklin Roosevelt's first hundred days in office, when he and his inner circle launched the New Deal, forever reinventing the role of the federal government. As Cohen reveals, five fiercely intelligent, often clashing personalities presided over this transformation and pushed the president to embrace a bold solution. Nothing to Fear is the definitive portrait of the men and women who engineered the nation's recovery from the worst economic crisis in American history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 372 pages
  • 142.24 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0143116657
  • 9780143116653
  • 1,396,575

Review quote

aIn the veritable library of books about the New Deal, Adam Cohenas new entry deserves a prominent place on the top shelf. In my judgment, the story of the Hundred Days has never been told so well, nor the cast of characters rendered so compellingly.a
aJoseph J. Ellis, author of "American Creation"
aThis is thrilling history, bringing to life the full-dimensional, extraordinary band of people who shaped the modern United States in a hundred-day dash. Cohenas character sketches are sharp, his narrative moves along briskly, and the story itself is freshaand full of drama. We are better off as a nation for having this chapter of our shared past told in page-turner fashion by Adam Cohen.a
aTimothy Egan, author of "The Worst Hard Time"
aFDR brought together brilliant people with divergent beliefs and was able both to manage and juggle them. In this fascinating book about his first hundred days, Adam Cohen looks at his innermost circle and provides wonderful insights about leadership, management, and creativity.a
aWalter Isaacson, author of "Einstein"
aWhen Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in March 1933 he issued a spate of reform legislation which transformed America for the better. Now, Adam Cohen, one our finest historians, explains in vivid prose the backstory of how five inner-circle liberals jumpstarted those historic 100 Days. "Nothing to Fear" is a riveting, indispensable book for our times.a
aDouglas Brinkley, Professor of History and Baker Institute Fellow at Rice University and author, "The Great Deluge"
aVividly written and profoundly researched, this reprise of FDRas circle is an exciting New Deal adventure for these troubled times. AdamCohen's "NOTHING TO FEAR" is filled with surprises, new stories and unique portraits of FDR's friends and enemies you have never met this way before. The amazing journey of Frances Perkins is simply a marvel. At this critical moment, with our nation imperiled by the astarve the beasta crowd, this book offers hope for what is now again most needed: the restoration of democracy, and the restitution of New Deal agencies to promote dignity and security for all.a
a Blanche Wiesen Cook, University Distinguished Professor, John Jay College & Graduate Center, CUNY and author of "Eleanor Roosevelt"
aAn elucidating, pertinent and timely work on the makings of government. Ambitious, yet well-focusedaa marvelously readable study of an epic moment in American history.a
a"Kirkus Reviews, starred review"
aAn exemplary and remarkably timely narrative of FDRas famous first aHundred Daysa as president ... Cohenas exhaustively researched and eloquently argued book provides a vital new level of insight into Rooseveltas sweeping expansion of the federal governmentas role in our national life.a
a"Publishers Weekly" aAdam Cohenas cogent chronicle of the pell-mell opening months of Franklin Delano Rooseveltas administration couldnat be timelier. a] In a lucid, intelligent narrative as fast-paced as the hectic Hundred Days, Cohen skillfully charts the course of events with just enough detail, building by accretion a portrait of the stop-and-start process by which sweeping change is made.a
a"Los Angeles Times"
aTimely and engaginga] Cohen masterfully renders the backgrounds and personalities of Roosevelt's inner circle. By focusing particularly on Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace, Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, budget director Lewis Douglas, relief administrator Henry Hopkins and top aide Raymond Moley, Cohen humanizes the policy process and adds considerable drama to the established storyline.a
a"Chicago Tribune"
aCohenas well-told story belies the clichA(c) about legislation and sausage-making: his narrative is absorbing and enjoyable to read.a
a"The New York Times Book Review"
aTimelya] As a blueprint for political fast starts, "Nothing to Fear" might belong on the current President-electas night table, but it would make instructive reading for his advisers as well.a
aCohen displays his strong prose style and research skills in this story of the precedent set by FDR against which later Presidents are judgeda] [A] crucial human story which goes beyond that found in most FDR biographies. Superbly readable and informative.a
a "Library Journal" (starred review)
aAn indispensable primer.a
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About Adam Cohen

Adam Cohen is assistant editorial page editor of The New York Times, where he has been a member of the editorial board since 2002. He was previously a senior writer at Time and is the author of The Perfect Store: Inside eBay and a coauthor of American Pharaoh, a biography of Mayor Richard J. Daley. Before entering journalism, Cohen was an education-reform lawyer, and he has a law degree from Harvard.
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Rating details

540 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 29% (156)
4 43% (231)
3 22% (119)
2 5% (27)
1 1% (7)
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