FDR Presidential Library Hosts Reading Festival July 27

HYDE PARK, NY—On Saturday, July 27, 2013, from 9:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will host the tenth annual Roosevelt Reading Festival. The day-long program will highlight the recently published work of twelve authors — including Joseph E. Persico, author of ROOSEVELT'S CENTURIONS: FDR AND THE COMMANDERS HE LED TO VICTORY IN WORLD WAR II — and a special afternoon presentation by Eleanor Roosevelt historian Allida M. Black on Eleanor Roosevelt's 1963 work TOMORROW IS NOW which Dr. Black republished in 2012. The Reading Festival will be held in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home. This is a free public event.

In six concurrent sessions taking place throughout the day, twelve authors of works that draw upon the Roosevelt Library archives — or focus on the Roosevelt era — will present author talks followed by question-and-answer sessions and book signings. Copies of all of the authors' books will be available for sale in the New Deal Store. The program begins at 9:45 a.m. with coffee and refreshments. Attendees can visit the Library's new permanent exhibition with free admission throughout the day. Regular admission will be charged for the National Park Service sites.

This year's Roosevelt Reading Festival authors include:

Special Afternoon Presentation:

Black, Allida M.

Roosevelt, Eleanor

TOMORROW IS NOW

(Penguin Classics, 2012)

Beasley, Maurine

WOMEN OF THE WASHINGTON PRESS: 

POLITICS, PREJUDICE, AND PERSISTENCE

(Northwestern University Press, 2012)

Breitman, Richard and Allan J. Lichtman

FDR AND THE JEWS

(Belknap Press, 2013)

Dunn, Susan

1940: FDR, WILLKIE, LINDBERGH, HITLER - THE ELECTION AMID THE STORM

(Yale University Press, 2013)

Fryburg, M.H. and Stefan Lonce

DRIVING WITH FDR: 

2013 BIOGRAPHICAL/COLLECTIBLE CALENDAR

(LCNS2ROM, Inc., 2013)

Lanza, John W.

SHOT DOWN OVER ITALY: A TRUE STORY OF COURAGE

AND SURVIVAL IN NAZI-OCCUPIED ITALY DURING WORLD WAR II

(Bright Spot Books, 2010)

Mullenbach, Cheryl

DOUBLE VICTORY: 

HOW AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN 

BROKE RACE AND GENDER BARRIERS TO HELP WIN WORLD WAR II

(Chicago Review Press, 2013)

O'Sullivan, Christopher D.

FDR AND THE END OF EMPIRE:  

THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN POWER IN THE MIDDLE EAST

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

Persico, Joseph E. 

ROOSEVELT'S CENTURIONS: 

FDR AND THE COMMANDERS HE LED TO VICTORY IN WORLD WAR II

(Random House, 2013)

Pietrusza, David

1920: THE YEAR OF THE SIX PRESIDENTS

(Basic Books, 2008)

Roll, David L.

THE HOPKINS TOUCH:  

HARRY HOPKINS AND THE FORGING OF THE ALLIANCE TO DEFEAT HITLER

(Oxford University Press, 2013)

The event is free and open to the public. Author book signings will be conducted throughout the day and books will be available for purchase in the New Deal Store. The full schedule for the day is posted online at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu. For additional information about this event please call Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745. 

FDR AND HIS BOOK COLLECTION

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an avid collector of books. His love of reading was reflected in the enormity of his collection which numbered over 21,000 books at the time of his death in April 1945.  

Roosevelt always enjoyed reading. However, it was during his years at Harvard that he became a serious book collector, during his service as the librarian for the Hasty Pudding and Fly Clubs. After college, FDR continued his collecting, stopping at bookshops on his honeymoon in Europe, and later forming relationships with several dealers around the Eastern United States. Nearly all of his books were for the purpose of entertainment, his favorite topics included naval history, nature, sea exploration, and of course, Dutchess County history and the Hudson River.

FDR read books almost purely for entertainment and therefore collected many that related to his other hobbies such as ornithology, local history, naval history, and marine architecture. He also collected children's books. While reading was one of his pastimes, it was often the physical appeal of a book that attracted FDR. He admired attractive bindings, cover designs, typeface, and paper. Not surprisingly, then, each new addition to his personal library was given its own specially designed book plate, and the more valuable books were kept in protective slipcovers. 

While Roosevelt valued his books greatly, in addition to his name, he often jotted small notes in them, either describing something about the nature of the book, or its relevance in his personal life. In the flyleaf of an 1869 edition of Sir Samuel White's CAST UP BY THE SEA, Roosevelt wrote, "one of my favorite boyhood books — read it three times." More often, he would write simpler indications such as "interesting" or "rare." FDR wrote more significant comments in a smaller number of his books, such as in William Trufant Foster's, THE ROAD TO PLENTY, Hitler's MEIN KAMPF, Raymond Leslie Bull's ISOLATED AMERICA, Alexander Kiralfry's VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC, and Charles A. Beard's A FOREIGN POLICY FOR AMERICA, which criticized Roosevelt.

By the 1930's, Roosevelt had run out of space for his collection and began holding auctions to get rid of duplicate copies and less desirable volumes. At this time he also began planning a permanent library on his Hyde Park estate. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, which opened to the public in 1941, is the repository for FDR's beloved personal library of more than 21,000 volumes.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

As generations of Americans that have no personal memory of the Roosevelt Era emerge, it is more critical than ever that the lives and legacies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt be preserved and presented to new generations. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum stands ready to serve as a visible and valuable resource for children and families, educators and students, and an international audience seeking to understand the past to make a better tomorrow. With a newly renovated building and new permanent museum exhibits the Library seeks to honor President Roosevelt's vision in dedicating his Library to the American people. The Roosevelt Library is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. For more information about the Library or its programs call (800) 337-8474 or visit www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu.

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