Wicker, formerly a religion writer for the Dallas Morning News, tells a straightforward story of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s deep religiosity and its influence on his presidency. Wicker traces Roosevelt’s developing of a religious vision from his childhood, where he learned, after seeing his prayers about his father’s health answered, that God actively communicated with people. Wicker then details Roosevelt’s school days at Groton and the onset of polio. Particularly engaging is Wicker’s analysis of Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, illustrating the many instances in the speech where he weaves biblical language and religious precepts into his vision for a nation suffering through the Great Depression. In the address and throughout the remainder of his four terms in office, Roosevelt’s social gospel–the revival of hope through brotherhood–culminates in his speech to the country in which he declares the enduring Christian idea that “we are all members of one another.” Wicker’s appealing little book is a fun glimpse into a previously little-explored corner of F.D.R.’s life.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Anyone acquainted with author and journalist Christine Wicker knows how much she relishes a challenging assignment. So it’s not surprising that her most recent book, The Simple Faith of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, delves into one of the most-written-about figures in U.S. history. Yet Wicker not only has plucked out a thread previously unexplored, she makes a compelling case that faith was at the heart of all of Roosevelt’s efforts to lift up the lives of his fellow Americans. As she puts it, “all the ways he failed to be a good Christian didn’t keep him from being an effective Christian.”
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
F.D.R.: Man of faith? Religion journalist Christine Wicker makes a convincing and inspiring case in her examination of his deeply held and deeply influential beliefs in The Simple Faith of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Religion’s Role in the FDR Presidency. As she puts it, “all the ways he failed to be a good Christian didn’t keep him from being an effective Christian” – a lesson for all of us about how we can be far from perfect yet still change the world.