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BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS

Don Firth 16 Sep 14 - 07:51 PM
Don Firth 16 Sep 14 - 07:59 PM
Bill D 16 Sep 14 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Arkie 16 Sep 14 - 08:49 PM
Don Firth 16 Sep 14 - 08:51 PM
robomatic 16 Sep 14 - 09:38 PM
Ebbie 16 Sep 14 - 10:20 PM
LadyJean 17 Sep 14 - 12:51 AM
Don Firth 17 Sep 14 - 11:36 AM
Ebbie 17 Sep 14 - 12:14 PM
Greg F. 17 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM
Ebbie 17 Sep 14 - 02:34 PM
Airymouse 17 Sep 14 - 07:10 PM
Don Firth 17 Sep 14 - 08:16 PM
Don Firth 17 Sep 14 - 08:22 PM
LadyJean 17 Sep 14 - 09:33 PM
Ebbie 18 Sep 14 - 03:08 AM
Don Firth 18 Sep 14 - 02:27 PM
Greg F. 18 Sep 14 - 02:38 PM
Don Firth 18 Sep 14 - 02:45 PM
robomatic 18 Sep 14 - 03:15 PM
Ebbie 18 Sep 14 - 04:27 PM
Don Firth 18 Sep 14 - 05:48 PM
Bill D 18 Sep 14 - 06:40 PM
Greg F. 18 Sep 14 - 06:48 PM
lefthanded guitar 18 Sep 14 - 07:02 PM
Don Firth 18 Sep 14 - 08:04 PM
Ebbie 18 Sep 14 - 09:03 PM
Don Firth 18 Sep 14 - 10:06 PM
Bill D 18 Sep 14 - 10:19 PM
Ebbie 19 Sep 14 - 02:17 AM
Don Firth 19 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM
Don Firth 19 Sep 14 - 01:57 PM
Don Firth 19 Sep 14 - 02:22 PM
Mrrzy 19 Sep 14 - 02:27 PM
Ebbie 19 Sep 14 - 02:53 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 14 - 03:05 PM
Ebbie 19 Sep 14 - 03:44 PM
Greg F. 19 Sep 14 - 03:54 PM
Don Firth 19 Sep 14 - 07:52 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 14 - 08:17 PM
Don Firth 19 Sep 14 - 08:50 PM
LadyJean 19 Sep 14 - 11:02 PM
Greg F. 20 Sep 14 - 10:37 AM
Don Firth 20 Sep 14 - 03:49 PM
Greg F. 20 Sep 14 - 05:04 PM
Don Firth 20 Sep 14 - 05:19 PM
Ebbie 20 Sep 14 - 09:49 PM
Don Firth 20 Sep 14 - 10:27 PM
LadyJean 20 Sep 14 - 10:45 PM
Ebbie 21 Sep 14 - 01:13 AM
Airymouse 21 Sep 14 - 11:32 AM
Bill D 21 Sep 14 - 12:20 PM
Greg F. 21 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,DaveRo 14 Oct 14 - 04:59 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Oct 14 - 01:18 PM

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Subject: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS?
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 07:51 PM

Anyone watching the new Ken Burns series on PBS, "The Roosevelts"?

Two hours per episode. On my local PBS station at least, it started this last Sunday evening (Sept. 14th) and runs every evening until this coming Saturday (Sept. 20th). Barbara and I have been watching it, completely enthralled.

Being a certified geezer, I remember Franklin Delano Roosevelt well. He was elected President two years after I was born, was re-elected again and again, and yet again, and died in office during his unprecedented fourth term, when I was in my early 'teens. I remember the Great Depression, and Roosevelt's Herculean efforts to bring it to an end and put people to work again—despite the really vicious opposition of Wall Street and the moneyed interests. The New Deal, his institution of regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reign in those who were looting the country, and such things as the WPA and CCC, that employed people directly, allowing them to pay their rent and put food on the table, and resulting in the building of much of the country's infrastructure, such as roads, highways, bridges, and national parks. And I remember FDR's "Fireside Chats," which were not really speeches, but were exactly that—chats—in which he explained his policies to the country in detail, what he was trying to do, and who or what was attempting to block his efforts.

I hope President Obama is watching this series!

So far, Burns has covered most of the life of Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt, his beginnings as a sickly, asthmatic child, and through leading "The Strenuous Life," his becoming what someone called "a locomotive in trousers." As Vice President, he ascended to the Presidency when William McKinley was assassinated, to become the youngest U.S. President at age 42. Among other things, he cleaned up a great deal of corruption and broke up many of the trusts and monopolies that were robbing the working man and the country in general. Were that not enough, he was at the head of his famous "Roughriders" in the Spanish-American War, and was largely responsible for bringing about the building of the Panama Canal.

So far (two episodes), they've only touched on Franklin and Eleanor, but—

The family was extremely wealthy, a Dutch immigrant ancestor having bought a mess of farmland in what later became downtown Manhattan. The family was highly flawed in many respects. But they were fiercely dedicated to the idea of noblesse oblige—the concept that privilege demands responsibility—a concept that seems to be totally dormant today.

But why am I telling you all this? Watch the series! It runs (at least locally) until Saturday evening. But you can stream each episode at any time from this website:   The Roosevelts.

(I DO hope President Obama is watching it!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 07:59 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 08:03 PM

I caught the Teddy episode.. fascinating! But the most interesting thing that was new to me was the revelation that Eleanor was not really good at being a mother. She gave birth to babies, then shrugged and let nannies do most of the raising.

I'll set my head to see all the series.

(I remember only FDR's death... I was 6, and my mother was crying.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 08:49 PM

Has been enlightening and enjoyable so far.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 08:51 PM

Yeah, Bill, as I said (or as the series says), the family was highly flawed and they all had their hang-ups. Eleanor was a fairly lousy mother, but she never had much of an example. Both of her parents died when she was quite young. But she was well educated and made one helluva First Lady. When she discovered that Franklin was playing around with another woman, she redefined herself and became a political companion and helper to Franklin rather than a wife, and let him go his own way domestically.

Fascinating! Rather like watching the activities of Renaissance royal families. Epic!

But so much of it is still highly relevant today.

I also remember my mother crying when FDR died. And my father was pretty downcast. I was thirteen at the time.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 09:38 PM

I needed some tissue with me for the combination of references to FDR and Aaron Copeland's music. Watched the last two episodes riveted and am looking forward to the third tonight.
One of the best Burns efforts, and that's saying something. I especially like the poignant pictures he's located of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor when they were young and everything wasn't going their way.
Epic is not too strong a word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 10:20 PM

I too am watching it and will continue with the others.

Don F, I had not realized that you are older than I! You seem young to me. :)

I was 9; we school kids were at lunch when the school Principal came in, announced the President's death and asked us to stand for a minute's silence. It was an awed moment. I already knew that President Roosevelt was our only president- who knew what was going to happen now?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: LadyJean
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 12:51 AM

I've been following it. It's all history to me. I was born not quite 10 uears after FDR died. My parents were both Republicans. Mom took time off after college to work against his third term.

But the whole thing is fascinating. A lot of otherwise fine women were not great mothers. A few great mothers, were not, otherwise, good people. Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing woman for a few thousand reasons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 11:36 AM

One of the amazing thing about the Roosevelts was that they would be hit by a disaster that would simply take most people out, but they'd get up and keep right on going!

Which, believe me, was an inspiration to a lot of people.

See tonight's episode.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 12:14 PM

Like most Americans, I suppose, I have known most of the history of the two families but one complete surprise to me from last night's episode is the jungle trek that TR and his party, including his son, took. I don't remember ever reading about the near-fatal outcome. Very graphic depiction. Bone chilling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM

Ebbie - check this book out. A "goo9d read" as they say:


The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey. By Candice Millard. 2006


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 02:34 PM

Thanks, Greg F.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Airymouse
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 07:10 PM

The interview of Ken Burns on PBS News Hour was also interesting. I was amused by his comment that the Roosevelts were "all to the manner born," because I'm pretty sure he and Shakespeare had quite different views as to what this means. I think he was spot on in saying that Teddy and FDR are always presented separately, one as a Republican and the other as a Democrat and this compartmentalization does not serve either of them well. I have already learned a lot that I never learned in class, but then there is a lot I never learned in class.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 08:16 PM

Remembering, of course, that the Republican and Democratic parties were not quite the same back then than they are now. The Republican party as it stands now would never have tolerated someone like Theodore Roosevelt, famous for "trust-busting" and believing that prosperity should be shared by all. After Theodore Roosevelt, ginks like Harding, Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover gave the government to back to big business and Wall Street.

"Brother, can you spare a dime?"

Then Franklin Roosevelt, with the same belief that his cousin had that the working stiff deserves a fair shake (more in line with the basic beliefs of the Democratic Party), was elected and turned the country around with his "New Deal," putting people back to work and regulating Wall Street's excesses. Worked pretty good there for a few decades until Reagan began to systematically render Roosevelt's regulatory agencies impotent by appointing the foxes to guard the chicken coop.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 08:22 PM

By the way, I think that's "to the manor born," signifying aristocracy, be it hereditary or financial.

That noblesse oblige thing I mentioned above. The principle that privilege demands responsibility.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: LadyJean
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 09:33 PM

My parents were very much of that opinion. I have learned since how rare that outlook is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:08 AM

Wow. Tonight's episode was good. Just excellent.

Funny thing, though, I kept being reminded of Bill and Hillary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 02:27 PM

Yeah, Ebbie, there is a bit of a parallel there, although FDR's little peccadillos were never made public, at least to the best of my knowledge. Hillary seems to be finding her own way. Eleanor was a real force back then.

We've seen how some people are reacting to the first black president (actually, mixed race). I wonder how they'll react to the first woman president….

Absolutely fascinating episode last night. I found parts of it really tough to watch. I contracted polio when I was two years and three months old, and although, thank God, I was too young to really remember being in the throes of the disease itself, the show did stir a few creepy memory traces. Later, there was lots of physical therapy, and the constant, "Do your exercises!" from parents, doctors, etc. The belief back then was that with lots of exercise, strength in the muscles could be restored. It could help a little—partially restore some muscle tissue. But it was the motor nerves that the disease attacked, and—well—that was that. For the most part, one simply had to learn to adapt and try to find new ways of doing things that most people just took for granted.

In tonight's episode, we're getting up to things I definitely remember, from arguments and discussions between my father and various friends and acquaintances, hearing FDR's speeches on the radio, and particularly his "fireside chats" when he would calmly explain to the people what he was striving to do, why it was good for the people and the country as a whole, and who and why certain people were trying to block what he wanted to do.

When one of FDR's programs went into effect, it worked! People had confidence in him. Kept voting him back in.

I sure hope President Obama is watching this series….

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 02:38 PM

I sure hope President Obama is watching this series….

Too late.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 02:45 PM

Yeah.... I'm afraid so, Greg.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:15 PM

It's interesting to self-observe reactions to the series. My ability to judge Presidents isn't related to whether or not I agree with them or even like them (so I say) but my feelings about them are wildly different. I feel emotionally tied to Lincoln and FDR. Hearing them quoted (and Jefferson for that matter) brings on an emotional response, he's speaking for me better than I could for myself.
I suspect it is tied to my parents who were New Deal Democrats and my father who benefitted from the G. I. Bill of Rights (under Truman, but still in FDR's penumbra).
And there has been no First Lady like Eleanor Roosevelt. I wonder if there even could be these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 04:27 PM

The Amish traditionally don't vote but that doesn't mean they don't form opinions. Being opinionated Amish, but with no access to radio or film, my parents were as misinformed as any of them. I remember my mother hinting darkly about the President's whispered-about scandalous disease that brought on his paralysis- until last night's episode I wasn't sure it was syphilis that was being hinted although I had a pretty good idea.

My father never worked at any of the President's projects; Dad was a farmer and dairy man. I never heard them discuss the value of the President's work-providing programs. I suspect that they were just as bad in my parents' opinion as communism and socialism would have been.

Oh yes- and Eleanor Roosevelt... She was dangerous beyond belief.

Ignorance. The bane of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 05:48 PM

Not necessarily your parents, Ebbie, as they were coming from another viewpoint, but the usual suspects—the same types who are hell-bent on slamming President Obama, no matter how big a lie they have to tell—were really out in force when it came to FDR. He was a Bolshevik (Commmunist), of course, until it became clear how dangerous Hitler was, then they called him a Fascist. And like Obama's being born in Kenya, Indonesia, or on Mars, and a Muslim to boot, FDR and all the Roosevelts were part of the International Jewish Conspiracy. After all, their name was really "Rosenfelt!"

I'm not too sure how being Jewish was going to be consistent with his plans to turn America into a Nazi country, but the ginks had it all worked out.

The Roosevelts (Americanized from Rosenvelts) were originally from Holland, and were among the earliest to settle in the Dutch colonial settlement of New Amsterdam, in what would later become New York City. They owned a big patch of farmland in what later became known as downtown Manhattan (include several acres that includes the site of the Empire State Building). Not a bad little investment! That was the main source of their enormous wealth.

Along with their strong ethical principle that privilege demands responsibility (noblesse oblige), how can you bribe a man who already has more money than he can possibly spend in a dozen lifetimes?

Be it noted that, along all the things the New Deal accomplished to put people back to work and end the Great Depression, FDR instituted Social Security. He didn't believe that people who had worked hard all their lives should have to spend their old age in poverty or living in "poor houses."

The Social Security program is currently very much under Right-wing attack.

The Philistines (like Ronald Reagan and others) are still trying to undo FDR's accomplishments that really made—and after about eighty-some years, are continuing to make—a big difference in people's lives.

('Scuse my rant…..)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 06:40 PM

I never knew until last night how deeply FDR was involved/invested in Warm Springs. Whatever anyone thinks of his politics or personal life, he made a real difference to many people who came there for 'treatment' and inspiration.

And although he never significantly recovered use of his legs, he built up his arms and learned to get around a bit on just 2 canes.... amazing determination.

(My ex-wife had polio, and unfortunately, she had (as she said) probably the last doctor in the country who believed in complete immobilization as 'treatment'. It left her with a severely distorted spine. She spent most of her life using Canadian crutches, and did as much in her own way as FDR.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 06:48 PM

Ignorance. The bane of the world.

Coupled with denial of reality = the Tea Party Republicans.

No wonder the U.S. is in the crapper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 07:02 PM

Watching it off and on, and finding the life of Eleanor the most fascinating of all. The humanitarian politics and steel backbone of both the Roosevelt men are so rare of politicians today, and so necessary for the people of the U.S. to survive and flourish. Perhaps this documentary will inspire someone, somewhere out there to aspire to a high polictical office and be as effective and valuable to our people as the Roosevelts were. From the National Parks to Social Security, the Roosevelts made a better world.

btw. I have never been a rabid fan of Ken Burns, am I the ONLY person who finds the narrator so portentious and pompous that I have to turn it off now and then, just to gasp for air?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 08:04 PM

lefthanded guitar, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say in your first paragraph above.

But I'm afraid not with the second paragraph. I've always like Ken Burns' historical films, from "The Civil War" on. MOST informative and interestingly presented, at least to me.

Burns is, of course, not narrating the series. Actually, I think there are a couple of narrators, along with several well-known actors. Meryl Streep does a great job of voicing Eleanor Roosevelt (sounds like her), but Edward Herrmann just doesn't cut it as the voice of FDR. I remember that voice, and Edward Herrmann just ain't it, sorry.

I think there are times when you DO hear FDR's actual voice in the programs. There should be plenty available, what with newsreels, old radio transcription discs, etc.—assuming that some idiot didn't toss 'em out….

By the way, I just ran across a note that PBS will be running Burns' series on "The Dust Bowl" in November. That was a heavy time, contemporary with the Great Depression and FDR's administration(s)! Yet another thing he had to deal with!

One of the things I like about Burns is his thoroughness and his getting across the "flavor" of the times his films are about, often through the subtle use of background music—often hardly noticeable, but there.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 09:03 PM

Yes, last night I noticed Seneca Square (also known as The Federales are Coming. Not sure about its applicability.) I also heard another very familiar fiddle tune- at first I thought it was Ashokan Farewell but that wasn't it. What was it?

I too am a fan of Ken Burns. He does a thorough job; his use of photographs in everything I have seen him do is fantastic.

The monotone of the man's voice who does most of the narration in the current series is off-putting to me. I don't care for gushing or the Oxyclean-purveyor approach but there surely is a happy medium somewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 10:06 PM

Aha! Did some checking and found out that most of the narration is done by actor Peter Coyote.

I can't say his narration especially bothers me, but I have heard better....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 10:19 PM

The narration could never be as bad as Ed Bearrs, noted historian, in the Civil War series


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:17 AM

Incidentally, Meryl Streep's voice as Eleanor Roosevelt is not too accurate. Her phrasing and diction is good but I remember the first lady's voice- it was not too pleasant. High pitched and rather harsh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM

Last night's episode and the next two are about times I well remember, as a rug-rat, youngster, and teen-ager. Yeah, you heard FDR's real voice a lot in the film clips, newsreels, and when they were talking about his "fireside chats." I well remember listening to those. We'd all gather around the radio and listen quietly. Most of the time I was more or less clueless as to what he was talking about, but I did understand a fair amount of it.

This series is a real an early memory orgy for me. Love it!

And no, I can't say the narrator's delivery particularly bothers me.

Eagerly looking forward to the next.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM

We never had a radio till we settled in a city just after the end of WWII, and then my interests at 6 yo ran to "The Lone Ranger".

I am amazed at the number of images and movie clips Burns was able to find. The entire series shows FDRs shortcomings... but also shows just how much insight he had about how fast he dared push the "New Deal" and impending war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 01:57 PM

Oh, yeah! The Lone Ranger. That was a "must listen" every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the late Thirties. At the end of the half-hour, when the wrong was righted or the crook was turned over to the sheriff,

"Say, who was that masked man, anyway?"

Off in the distance, "Hi-Yo Silver! Away!" and "Get'um up, Scout!"

William Tell Overture's concluding phrase with the sound of hoofbeats fading in the distance....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:22 PM

FDR and Obama:

Clicky.

Note especially:

"In taking on his opponents directly, President Obama has inched towards the tactics used by FDR to carry his landmark reforms through Congress. But to date he has avoided using perhaps FDR's most effective weapon--a direct and hard hitting appeal to the populist anger that had swept the country in the wake of the 1929 crash; a populist anger that is not unlike the mood of the country today."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:27 PM

I watched part of it, looked excellent. I liked their "the 60's" too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:53 PM

Before last night's episode, I really didn't realize what powerful enemies FDR had. It is a great wonder he was not assassinated.

Incidentally, in defense of the Amish I should stipulate that I know of no Amish who were for Germany in the war, even though their roots are largely German. America, to them, was/is the shining beacon on a hill. I remember my own parents were wary of a lone nationalist German in our little town, thinking he might be a spy. The poor man became a veritable pariah in the community notwithstanding his many years in this country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 03:05 PM

"It is a great wonder he was not assassinated"

Someone tried... got the mayor of Chicago instead. (No semi-automatic Glocks and AK-47s then, or....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 03:44 PM

But that assassination attempt was early on, Bill D, and not by the 'powers'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 03:54 PM

I really didn't realize what powerful enemies FDR had

And STILL has - most Republicans still haven't forgiven him, and are to this day trying to repeal Social Security & other programs he initiated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 07:52 PM

Franklin D. Roosevelt's regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, worked quite well over the years, but they were frequently the targets of many Republican presidents who attempted to disband them. But they managed to withstand these onslaughts over the decades.

Until Ronald Reagan hit on the expedient of appointing bankers and Wall Street brokers, the very people the commission was supposed to regulate, to the commission. It's been said many times, but it was a classic case of putting the foxes in charge of the chicken coop.

One of the reasons we're in the mess we're in today.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 08:17 PM

Even back then, conservatives were shouting "SOCIALISM" at Roosevelt, as if it was a clear & obvious name like 'murderer'.

I doubt many could have define 'socialist'... and even fewer could tell you exactly why it was supposed to be evil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 08:50 PM

FDR advocated universal health care, but what with everything else (like a World War to fight), he hadn't yet got around to pushing it very hard for it when he died. Harry S. Truman (good ol' "give 'em hell Harry!") advocated it strongly, but the AMA and its mignons had a wall-eyed hissy fit, called it "Socialized Medicine," implying that the next step was a Communist takeover, and came up with the usual litany about "death panels" and such. No go!

I remember all the screaming and shouting in the late Forties.

It was a hard damned fight before Medicare made it through.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: LadyJean
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 11:02 PM

My mother's parents met at the University of Cincinnatti, where they were both students. Grandaddy went on to become a patent attorney. But they both loathed the Roosevelts.

Grandma was to the manor born, first generationg born to said manor, but still. She would have that sense of noblesse oblige, but would never see the virtue of the new deal. She would have bought groceries for a family that had nothing. But she couldn't see that it was better that the government provide that family with the means to buy groceries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 10:37 AM

doubt many could have defined 'socialist'... and even fewer could tell you exactly why it was supposed to be evil.

Nor can they YET - 75 years later. But they're still screaming.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 03:49 PM

Last episode tonight.

I'm wondering how much they'll have on Harry Truman's Presidency. FDR tried mightily to integrate the armed forces, but kept meeting a stone wall when he proposed it. In spite of his being a human bulldozer, he didn't seem to be able to bring it off. Seemed to consider it too divisive at the time.

I remember Clinton's relatively recent efforts to integrate the armed forces as far as "gay" and "straight" were concerned. Big problems. When he walked into the oval office, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had their heels dug in and their jaws firmly set. Then Clinton said, "How hard are you going to fight me on this?"

Dumb move. They fought him long and hard.

Good ol' "Give 'em hell Harry" did it the right way. When he decide to racially integrate the armed forces, same scenario. He walked into the oval office, there were the Joint Chiefs of Staff, heels dug in, jaws firmly set. Truman, aware that the President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, simply issued an order, then turned on his heel and walked out. No argument, no discussion, leaving the Joint Chiefs of Staff with their chins hanging slack.

Simple as that!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 05:04 PM

Lot to like about Ol' Harry, Don - but he was also a mean-spirited, small-minded ornery sonofabitch at times.

Hey, but ya can't have everything! ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 05:19 PM

Nothing wishy-washy about Ol' Harry.

When did wimpy become fashionable among politicians?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 09:49 PM

It doesn't seem likely that there will be much about Truman in this series, because the emphasis is not on the war but on the Roosevelts. My guess is that it will include the President's death and then the First Lady's continuing role in politics. It kind of amazes me that she actually influenced JFK's tenure in the White House.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 10:27 PM

Yeah, I pretty sure you're right, Ebbie.

Eleanor kept right on being a mover and a shaker, bless her heart!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: LadyJean
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 10:45 PM

I hadn't thought about it until today, but it was learning about the New Deal in school that made me decide I was going to be a Democrat when I grew up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 01:13 AM

Those three people... The USA is a much different country today because of them. For the last few years there have been political elements that have tried to wipe out the Roosevelts' achievements and influences but I dearly hope in the long run they will not succeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Airymouse
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 11:32 AM

"For the last few years there have been political elements that have tried to wipe out the Roosevelts' achievements and influences."
Their mouthpiece is Fox News. I consider the assertion that Roosevelt sent a destroyer, at great taxpayer expense, to the Aleutian Islands to retrieve his dog, which he had carelessly left behind, Foxworthy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 12:20 PM

There was an amazing amount of information in the series that was new to me. Some of the 'private' family matters, of course, which is interesting as background... but also details of what FDR & Eleanor did as public policy and in the war effort.

I shudder to think what would have happened if FDR had died in, say, early 1944, without being re-elected with Truman. Dewey might well have served 2 terms..... and..... hmmmm


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM

For the last few years there have been political elements that have tried to wipe out the Roosevelts' achievements

Actually, the Republicans have been campaigning against FDR and trying to wipe out the New Deal since the day Roosevelt died. They're just having more success starting with the Reagan administration.

I consider the assertion that Roosevelt sent a destroyer, at great taxpayer expense, to the Aleutian Islands to retrieve his dog, which he had carelessly left behind, Foxworthy.

Difference being that most folks at the time didn't believe the bullshit, especially once proven to be untrue. Today millions actually BELIEVE the FOX-ian bullshit despite conclusive evidence to the contrary.

We've raised up a nation of morons.



story


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 04:59 AM

Starts on Sunday19th October on PBS in the UK
http://pbsamerica.co.uk/the-roosevelts


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Subject: RE: BS: Anybody watching 'The Roosevelts' on PBS
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Oct 14 - 01:18 PM

I was still in the Army when Roosevelt died (1945), not being discharged till the end of that year.

WW2 wrought large changes in American society, and war industries caused movement of many from rural to city habitats.

A valuable series. I thought I already knew too much about the Roosevelts, but I was reminded of a lot I forgot about what I had heard and thought in those years.


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