Lifts the curtain for a behind-the-scenes peek at how presidential campaigns often reflect personal grudges that either motivate or taint the respective candidates. In a sense, it reveals that even presidents can sometimes be nothing more than aging children carrying adolescent chips on their shoulders ... Rauchway provides valuable insights into the minds and motivations of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt and, in so doing, offers a valuable contribution to American political science that is well worth reading.
Though Winter War concentrates on the interregnum period, Mr. Rauchway ranges far and wide ... isn’t always reliable in its details ... One could say that Hoover has suffered enough in history’s perfect hindsight and deserves, in this matter and others, a fairer treatment.
Uses a formal but accessible style ... edifying and engaging ... Rauchway succeeds in detailing the major issues that Roosevelt grappled with, devoting chapters to England and France’s default on the repayment of international loans from WWI, the farm crisis, civil rights for African-Americans, Hitler’s rise to power, and the pandemic of bank runs and closures. Hoover mostly disappears during the book’s middle portions, ceding the narrative focus to FDR, which undermines the book’s central tension. But the book showcases strong scholarship, including deep engagement with archival materials, that a general audience can appreciate. This is an informative and readable history.