Roosevelt's Navy by James Tertius de Kay
The Education of a Warrior President, 1882-1920

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FDR as never seen before: His formative years as Woodrow Wilson’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy, evolving from political neophyte to visionary leader This is the story of a very different Franklin Delano Roosevelt from the one usually found in the history books. This is a much younger, untested FDR, a physically active, pre-polio FDR, as seen during his early years in Washington, learning the complexities of gaining and exercising power as Woodrow Wilson’s ambitious Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He arrives in Washington as a somewhat shallow, inexperienced political neophyte possessed of little more than a famous name, but by the time he leaves the Navy eight years later he will have transformed himself into a seasoned professional, wise to the ways of power, a visionary ready and eager to take his place on the world stage. FDR’s early years in Washington also include the most tumultuous period in his personal life, when, caught in a difficult marriage, he is forced to choose between his own personal happiness and his towering political ambitions. He must deal at close quarters with Congress, with the Administration, with the military, with big business. Lastly, but crucially, he confronts himself, learning something about his potential, his limitations, and his ambition. Such self-knowledge is perhaps the most valuable single gift that a leader of a democracy can hope for.

About James Tertius de Kay

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James Tertius de Kay has written a number of well-received books of American naval history: Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian; Monitor; and A Rage for Glory. He lives in Pawcatuck, Connecticut.
Published March 6, 2012 by Pegasus Books. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

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As Wilson’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR, a naval enthusiast from boyhood, tackled his new role with the plucky presumption of a young man who was sure he ought to be running the place.

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Publishers Weekly

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Focusing on a pre-presidency Franklin Delano Roosevelt, de Kay's (A Rage for Glory) excellent and engaging character study begins by recounting the young boy's fascination with distant cousin Theodore Roosevelt and his thrilling book The Naval War of 1812, and ends with his unsuccessful bid for t...

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Roosevelt's Navy: The Educati...

Suite 101

The Allies considered it a violation of the terms of the armistice of November 11, 1918, but the Germans scuttled their capital ships interned at Scapa Flow

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Roosevelt's Navy: The Educati...

Similarly, it seems odd to describe in great detail Roosevelt’s upset about failing to be accepted into Harvard’s most exclusive social group, the Porcellian Club, without ever mentioning his academic performance at the college.

Apr 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Roosevelt's Navy: The Educati...

He joined the Young Republican club soon after arriving at Harvard but never really committed to a political party until he made his run for the state Senate: The Democrats offered to back him as an underdog candidates against a Republican incumbent.

Apr 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Roosevelt's Navy: The Educati...

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