|The Rise of Hitler and FDR—|
Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal and Unlikely Destiny
"lively . . . wonderful . . . mesmerizing"
—Kirkus (starred review)
|From Lyons Press,
an imprint of Globe Pequot
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Publicity Contact: Sharon Kunz 203-458-4509
Kirkus (starred review)
A bifurcated, lively study of the year that saw the rise of the two most significant
political figures of the early 20th century.
In previous books, historian Pietrusza has taken on momentous years (1948: Harry
Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America, etc.). In this
wonderful new history for lay readers, he tackles two rising political geniuses, one
good, one evil, at their moments of election: Roosevelt and Hitler. Two unlikely men
of destiny at the cusp of seizing power in 1932 and poised to shape historical events in
their respective countries, they were able to overcome enormous obstacles—FDR his
polio affliction, Hitler his lack of talent and general status of persona non grata—corral
the necessary accomplices, and press forward by sheer and startling forces of will.
While FDR and Hitler had little in common growing up—one hailed from the
aristocracy and enjoyed every kind of family, school, and professional privilege; the
other failed at most everything he tried, even spending time in a homeless men’s
shelter—both had adoring mothers, leadership abilities, and an ability to stir their
followers by marvelous rhetoric. After struggling with his disability since the early
1920s, FDR did not feel ready to run for the governorship of New York in 1928, but
his nominating presidential convention speech for Al Smith galvanized the Democratic
Party, and Smith begged him to succeed him as governor. While Smith lost abysmally
to Herbert Hoover, Roosevelt “squeaked through to a narrow victory” and began his
stupendous comeback, convincing the people of his vigorous health as well as the
disastrous policies of Hoover. Hitler, having hit rock bottom once his mother died and
twice rejected entrance to art school, found his conversion in World War I. As the
author astutely notes, war became for Hitler a religion, and he began to cobble
together his own lethal, unstoppable political force.
A mesmerizing study in contrast and comparison.
Praise for 1932
"1932 confirmed my belief that David Pietrusza is the best historian of our
times. Deep, clever, witty, master of the subject."
- Columnist and film critic Ivan Denisov
"1932 represents a rare combination of scholarly rigor and relentless drama.
This book ranks right up there with In the Garden of the Beasts and should
be a must choice for every book club."
"David Pietrusza’s thrilling narratives not only instill history with the richness
it deserves, but they teem with intimate portraits and stories that make you
feel like you’re reading a great novel. 1932 is perhaps his best work yet.
Which is saying a lot."
- David Harsanyi, syndicated columnist and author
"David Pietrusza’s 1932 is history at its page-turning best: original, incisive,
evenhanded, and impossible to put down. Great storytelling by a great
- Kimberly Guilfoyle, co-host, "The Five," Fox News Channel
- Carl M. Cannon, Washington Bureau Chief, RealClear Politics
"Sweeping and surprising"
- John Batchelor, syndicated radio host
"Powerful! . . . majestic . . ."
"David Pietrusza isn't just one of the best historians writing these days, he's
one of the best storytellers—and his latest masterpiece, 1932 is another
home run. . . . 1932 isn't just a different way to look at Hitler and FDR—it's a
different way to look at how two civilized, western, nations—both in the grip
of a great depression—responded by electing two strong leaders who couldn't
have been more different."
- Matt K. Lewis, columnist, The Daily Beast
"You can't put it down . . ."
- Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's "Off Road Politics"
"Knowing how well Pietrusza writes and how good his previous year-in-
review themed books have been (1920: The Year of Six Presidents,
1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that
Transformed America and 1960 - LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic
Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies), the bar was set quite high
for the author by those of us who awaited the release of this book. But
the author once again lives up to his exemplary standards. In his latest
work, David Pietrusza yet again displays his ability to analyze, distill,
explain and supplement history's most fascinating years and its most
fascinating personalities, and in the process he gives those of us who love
to read history another excellent and enjoyable literary experience."
"extremely well written and researched. Highly recommended!!"
- Huffington Post critic Rob Taub
"Fascinating History: Insightful and Well-Written. Once again, David
Pietrusza gets the history, the politics and the personalities right. A
superb piece of writing with a lively narrative style."
- Ron Faucheux, former editor and publisher of Campaigns & Elections
"well written, well researched . . . Pietrusza's easy informal style moves
back and forth between the two [Hitler and FDR] expertly."
- John Bicknell, executive director, watchdog.org
"a masterful job bringing a vital era and several dynamic personalities
to life. . . . a must read for all political animals during this political
- David R. Stokes, townhall.com
"David Pietrusza has done a brilliant job! 1932 is a great read. It's great
history, a real page turner. In short, David Pietrusza continues to hit the
ball out of the park."
- John Rothmann, Former host, KGO-AM (San Francisco), co-author of
Icon of Evil and Harold E. Stassen: The Life & Perennial Candidacy
of the Progressive Republican
"Thought I knew much about these two giants of 20th century leadership
till Pietruza's new history with one focus: their simultaneous rise to
power in 1932; a truly momentous year. Pietrusza fills in the gap that
most histories skim over..."
- The Heartland Progressive
"a well-researched tome on two unlikely icons of the 20th century who
- The Cooperstown (NY) Crier
- Author and Basketball Hall of Famer Pat Williams
"a page-turner that puts history into perspective for readers young or
- Ed Tant, The Athens Banner-Herald
"an excellent job of dynamically weaving together, in a single book, the
essential life narratives of two of the titanic figures of the twentieth
- Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research
"Great book. Well researched and compelling . . ."
- Jay O'Callaghan, political demographics researcher
"You should buy this book . . ."
- Michael Koolidge, The Michael Koolidge Show
"a narrative that is both fascinating and original."
" . . . more than mere history; Pietrusza has brought 1932 to life and
created a compelling page turner. I highly recommend it."
"All momentous turns in history have an origin. 1932 explores the rise of
Franklin Roosevelt in the United States and Adolph Hitler in Germany, two
entirely different men who would clash to define the rest of the 20th
century and beyond. David Pietrusza does a marvelous job of weaving
the rise of these leaders with a rich narrative that reads like a novel. We
all know the story, but Pietrusza brings it to new life."
- Reviewer Jay E., NetGalley