Sep 28 • 44M

David Pietrusza | Podcast

Author, 'Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR's 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal'

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James Strock
The Serve to Lead podcast focuses on today’s extraordinary leadership opportunities in business, government, and politics. In a time of intense polarization, this includes advancing our shared American identity and narrative. James Strock is an independent writer, speaker, entrepreneur, lawyer, and reformer. His most recent book is 'Serve to Lead 2.0: 21st Century Leaders Manual.' Strock writes ‘The Next Nationalism’ at Substack.
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Bookcover for "Roosevelt Sweeps Nation"

In our unsettled moment, there’s a burst of interest in one of the United States’ most consequential presidents: Franklin Roosevelt.

In this episode of the Serve to Lead podcast, acclaimed presidential historian David Pietrusza discusses his highly readable, extensively researched new book, Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR’s 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal.


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Critical Acclaim

“A robust chronicle of Franklin Roosevelt’s quest to stay in the White House. . . a brisk, spirited narrative, abundantly populated and bursting with anecdotes . . . A prodigiously researched and exuberantly told political biography/history.”

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review )

“Pietrusza . . . makes the most of his engrossing tale. . . .  a lively story that is rife with strong personalities and blood stirring incidents. . . . appealing.”

Library Journal

“a sweeping yet minutely detailed chronicle of FDR’s 1936 reelection campaign . . .an exhaustive and expert chronicle of a critical American election.”

Publishers Weekly

“David Pietrusza’s Roosevelt Sweeps Nation combines penetrating research with good illustrative anecdotes to bring the 1936 presidential election between FDR and Alf Landon into sharp focus. A marvelous and important history. Highly recommended!”

—Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America.

“David Pietrusza has done it again—another fascinating, easy-to-read book on a key moment in history. Franklin Roosevelt won a massive victory in 1936, cementing his New Deal permanently. Pietrusza brings FDR’s era to life and shows us how it happened.”

—Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics

“The 1936 election was not just another FDR victory, but an important turning point in the nation’s history. The story David Pietrusza tells is riveting and the cast of characters is fascinating. Franklin Roosevelt was the most skillful American politician of the 20th century and this election was a decisive affirmation of his power and appeal.”

—Ron Faucheux, political analyst 

“In the style and with the depth of research of David McCullough, David Pietrusza makes history come alive in his latest book ‘Roosevelt Sweeps Nation.’ From religious characters like Father Divine and radio preacher Charles Coughlin, to political ones like Huey Long and Roosevelt himself, the book is a delightful and compelling read.”

—Cal Thomas, Syndicated Columnist

“Another great election year chronicle from [David Pietrusza] — such a colorful story & writing. Couldn’t be juicier.”

—Whit Stillman, Director and Academy Award Nominated Screenwriter 

“David Pietrusza is my favorite historian, and Roosevelt Sweeps Nation is Pietrusza at his best. Nobody can tell a better story than Pietrusza, who always shows you there’s more to the story than you thought—that there is juicy stuff hidden in our history that nobody has bothered to suss out or that has long been forgotten. This is another page-turner you won’t want to put down. At a time when Americans can use a reprieve from today’s news, Roosevelt Sweeps Nation is just what the doctor ordered. And David Pietrusza is a national treasure.”

—Matt Lewis, Senior Columnist, The Daily Beast 

“Roosevelt crafted an election strategy so strong that it has defined national campaigns of both parties ever since. Now historian David Pietrusza brings the stunning 1936 Roosevelt Sweep to life, with timely lessons for our current  challenges.”
—Amity Shlaes, Author,
Great Society.

“all of [Pietrusza’s] books are brilliant, but this is just phenomenal.”

—John Rothmann, KGO Radio (San Francisco)




About the Author

Award-winning historian David Pietrusza has been called “a national treasure” and “the undisputed champion of chronicling American Presidential campaigns.” His books include studies of the 1920, 1932, 1936, 1948, and 1960 presidential elections and biographies of Theodore Roosevelt (Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal, US History), gambler Arnold Rothstein (Edgar Award finalist) and Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis (Casey Award winner). 

Pietrusza has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN, MSNBC, The Voice of America, The History Channel, AMC, and ESPN. He has spoken at the JFK, FDR, Truman, and Coolidge presidential libraries, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and various universities, museums, libraries, and festivals. 

A noted expert on baseball history, Pietrusza has served as editor-in-chief of Total Sports Publishing, co-editor of Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, national president of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), and co-author with Ted Williams of Williams’ pictorial autobiography.

A former member of the Amsterdam (NY) City Council, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University at Albany, is a Recipient of UAlbany’s Alumni Association’s Excellence in Arts & Letters Award, and a charter member of the Greater Amsterdam School District Hall of Fame.
He served as a member of the New York State Commission for the Restoration of the Capitol.


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Image credits | Diversion Books; davidpietrusza.com.