Please join us for a special evening at Roosevelt House -- a book discussion with James Tobin, author of The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency, an account of Franklin Roosevelt’s ten-year climb from paralysis to the White House. Interviewing Mr. Tobin will be David Oshinsky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story. The conversation takes place in the home where much of the history in The Man He Became unfolded. We hope that you will be able to participate in this extraordinary occasion.
James Tobin won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Ernie Pyle's War: America's Witness to World War II. His new book begins in summer 1921, when at the age of thirty-nine, Franklin Roosevelt, the brightest young star in the Democratic Party, is stricken with polio. At the time allies and enemies alike thought his career was over. In The Man He Became, James Tobin uncovers the chain of accidents that left FDR paralyzed; he reveals how polio recast Roosevelt’s partnership with his wife, Eleanor; and he shows that FDR’s true victory was not over paralysis but over the stigma attached to the crippled. Tobin also explodes the conventional wisdom that FDR deceived the public about his condition. Roosevelt and his chief aide, Louis Howe, understood, Tobin shows, that only by displaying himself as a man who had come back from a knockout punch could FDR erase the perception that had followed him from childhood—that he was a pampered, too smooth pretty boy without the strength to lead the nation. Tobin argues that FDR became president less in spite of polio than because of polio.
The conversation between professors Tobin and Oshinsky is the first in a series of events taking place in the US and around the world to commemorate the centennial of Salk’s birth. With funding from the March of Dimes, Jonas Salk and his research team realized FDR's dream of developing a polio vaccine and preventing the devastating disease. Centenary events honoring Jonas Salk will be held through 2015. Further information is available at the website of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation.
More information http://www.roosevelthouse.hunter.cuny.edu/events/tobin-oshinsky