In Person Talk and Book Signing with author Jonathan Darman - Becoming FDR

Come and join us at The University Club as we host Jonathan Darman here in Winter Park for an in-person talk and book signing on his latest book, Becoming FDR.

If you cannot attend the event but would like a signed copy, please follow the link here, and add in the notes you would like a signed copy.

The Event: 

In a 20-, 30- or 45-minute talk followed by audience questions, Jonathan will recount the story of FDR’s experience with adversity and resilience and its relevance for contemporary audiences. If desired, Jonathan’s presentation can focus on specific themes, including:

- Leading with empathy: FDR's story and its lessons for inspiring empathy, optimism and hope.

- Fostering Resilience: FDR's quest for recovery and the insights it reveals for nurturing growth after setback and loss.

- Contemporary politics: As a former political correspondent, Jonathan can speak knowledgeably about issues of the day and how FDR's story helps us understand today's world.


This revealing biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt shows how one of the most consequential leaders in American history found his true self in his searing struggle with polio--emerging from illness with strength and wisdom he would use to inspire the world.

In popular memory, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the quintessential political “natural.” Born in 1882 to a wealthy, influential family and blessed with an abundance of charm and charisma, he seemed destined for high office. Yet for all his gifts, the young Roosevelt nonetheless lacked depth, empathy, and an ability to think strategically. Those qualities, so essential to his success as president, were skills he acquired during his seven-year journey through illness and recovery.

Becoming FDR traces the riveting story of the struggle that forged Roosevelt’s character and political ascent. Soon after contracting polio in 1921 at the age of thirty-nine, the former failed vice-presidential candidate was left paralyzed from the waist down. He spent much of the next decade trying to rehabilitate his body and adapt to the stark new reality of his life. By the time he reemerged on the national stage in 1928 as the Democratic candidate for Governor of New York, his character and his abilities had been transformed. He had become compassionate, and shrewd by necessity, tailoring his speeches to inspire listeners and to reach them through a new medium—radio. Suffering cemented his bond with those he once famously called “the forgotten man.” Most crucially, he had discovered how to find hope in a seemingly hopeless situation—a belief that he employed to motivate Americans through the Great Depression and World War II. The polio years were transformative too for the marriage of Franklin and Eleanor, and for Eleanor herself, who became, at first reluctantly, her husband's surrogate at public events, and who grew to become a political and humanitarian force in her own right.

Tracing the physical, political, and personal evolution of the iconic president, Becoming FDR shows how adversity can lead to greatness, and to the power to remake the world.


Jonathan Darman is a journalist and historian who writes about American politics and the presidency. He is the author of the forthcoming Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis that Made a President. His book Landslide: Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America told the story of a thousand transformative days in the 1960s through the eyes of two iconic American presidents.

As a former national political correspondent for Newsweek, Jonathan covered the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Mitt Romney and wrote extensively about other major figures in national politics and media. He covered the 2004 presidential campaign for the magazine’s special election project, which garnered the National Magazine Award for Single Topic Issue. Jonathan has also appeared frequently as a commentator on politics and presidential history on broadcast television, cable news and public radio.

Jonathan is a graduate of Harvard College where he studied American history and literature. He lives in Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley.

Event date: 
Monday, March 20, 2023 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Event address: 
The University Club
814 N. Park Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis That Made a President By Jonathan Darman Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781400067077
Published: Random House - September 6th, 2022

Event Type: