Books

FDR Literary Showdown

When Obama said in his 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night that he was reading a book about FDR's first 100 days, he didn't specify which one, leaving just about everyone who has ever written such a book to speculate that he was the president-elect's favorite author. Anthony J. Badger, author of FDR: The First Hundred Days, received interview request from CNN, while Penguin Press was convinced it was their upcoming book Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America by Adam Cohen. Friends of Jonathan Alter, who wrote The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, told him that Obama had mentioned his book. Turns out they were right. An Obama spokesperson said that Obama had meant Alter's book, as well as FDR by Jean Edward Smith. FSG decided to print an extra 5,000 copies of Smith's book after word broke. "Maybe he's the new Oprah," said an FSG spokesman.