|The Rise of Hitler and FDR—|
Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal and Unlikely Destiny
"lively . . . wonderful . . . mesmerizing"
—Kirkus (starred review)
The American Library Association (ALA)'s
Notable Books Council's 2015 Notable Books List Nominee
Kirkus Book Award Nominee
Barnes & Noble's "This Year's Top New History Books" List
The Presidential Geeks (POTUS Geeks) Blog: #1 Book of 2015
Amazon's "#1 New Release: Historical German Biographies"
Historybuff.com's "10 Can’t-Miss History Books of 2015"
1932 has achieved amazon.com’s Top 10 bestseller ranking
in three categories:
• Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > Europe > Germany
• Politics & Social Services > Politics & Government > International &
World Politics > European
• History > Europe > Germany
Featured on C-SPAN's BookTV and The John Batchelor Show
Featured Title: The Jewish Book Network 2015-2016
|From Lyons Press,
an imprint of Globe Pequot
Paperback Edition: Sept. 1, 2016
Request a Review Copy
Jessica Plaskett 203.458.4511
Two Depression-battered nations confront their destiny in 1932, going to the polls
in their own way to anoint new leaders, to rescue their people from starvation and
hopelessness. America elects a Congress and a president—ebullient aristocrat
Franklin Roosevelt or tarnished “Wonder Boy” Herbert Hoover. Decadent, divided
Weimar Germany suffers two rounds of bloody Reichstag elections and two
presidential contests—doddering reactionary Paul von Hindenburg against rising
radical hate-monger Adolf Hitler.
The outcome seemed foreordained—unstoppable forces advancing upon crumbled,
disoriented societies. A merciless Great Depression brought greater—perhaps
hopeful, perhaps deadly—transformation: FDR’s New Deal and Hitler’s Third Reich.
But neither outcome was inevitable.
Readers enter the fray through David Pietrusza’s page-turning account: Roosevelt’s
fellow Democrats may yet halt him at a deadlocked convention. 1928’s Democratic
nominee, Al Smith, harbors a grudge against his one-time protege. Press baron
William Randolph Hearst lays his own plans to block Roosevelt’s ascent to the White
House. FDR’s politically-inspired juggling of a New York City scandal threatens his
juggernaut. In Germany, the Nazis surge at the polls but twice fall short of
Reichstag majorities. Hitler, tasting power after a lifetime of failure and obscurity,
falls to Hindenburg for the presidency—also twice within the year. Cabals and
counter-cabals plot. Secrets of love and suicide haunt Hitler.
Yet guile and ambition may yet still prevail.
1932’s breathtaking narrative covers two epic stories that possess haunting
parallels to today’s crisis-filled vortex. It is an all-too-human tale of scapegoats and
panaceas, class warfare and racial politics, of a seemingly bottomless depression, of
massive unemployment and hardship, of unprecedented public works/infrastructure
programs, of business stimulus programs and damaging allegations of political
cronyism, of waves of bank failures and of mortgages foreclosed, of Washington
bonus marches and Berlin street fights, of once-solid financial empires collapsing
seemingly overnight, of rapidly shifting social mores, and of mountains of
irresponsible international debt threatening to crash not just mere nations but the
entire global economy.
It is the tale of spell-binding leaders versus bland businessmen and out-of-touch
upper-class elites and of two nations inching to safety but lurching toward disaster.
It is 1932’s nightmare—with lessons for today.
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
- 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 writer."
- 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
"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 season."
- 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
- John Rothmann, Former host, KGO-AM (San Francisco), co-author of Icon
of Evil and Harold E. Stassen: The Life & Perennial Candidacy of the
"a well-researched tome on two unlikely icons of the 20th century who changed
- The Cooperstown (NY) Crier
- Author and Basketball Hall of Famer Pat Williams
"a page-turner that puts history into perspective for readers young or old."
- Ed Tant, The Athens Banner-Herald
"You should buy this book . . ."
- Michael Koolidge, The Michael Koolidge Show
"a narrative that is both fascinating and original."
"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
1932's richly-textured cast of characters includes:
- Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
- Adolf Hitler
- Herbert Hoover
- Reich President Paul von Hindenberg and his son Oskar
- Germany's scheming gray eminence Gen. Kurt von Schleicher
- Radio priests: Detroit's Fr. Charles Coughlin and Pittsburgh's Fr. James R.
- Populist Sen. Huey "The Kingfish" Long
- Nazi propaganda chief Joseph "The Evil Dwarf" Goebbels
- 1928 Democratic nominee Al "The Happy Warrior" Smith
- Wall Street financiers Bernard Baruch and Joseph P. Kennedy
- Peripatetic journalist Winston Churchill
- American press lord and Democratic kingmaker William Randolph Hearst
- Nazi Reichstag leader (and former morphine addict) Hermann Goring
- Speaker of the House (and reluctant presidential candidate) John Nance
"Cactus Jack" Garner
- Hitler confidante (and former FDR friend) Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl
- Columnists Walter Lippmann, Will Rogers, Heywood Broun--and the
acerbic H. L. Mencken
- FDR advisor (and former Woodrow Wilson gray eminence) Col. Edward
- Embattled German chancellors Heinrich Bruning and Franz von Papen
- Big city mayors James J. "Beau James" Walker (New York), Anton
"Pushcart Tony" Cermak (Chicago), and James Michael Curley (Boston)
- Rightwing German veterans leaders: the one-armed Franz Seldte and the
part-Jewish Theodor Duesterberg
- FDR's gnomish but adoring alter-ego Louis McHenry Howe
- Brain Trusters Rexford Guy Tugwell and Raymond Moley
- Nationalist German press lord Alfred Hugenberg
- Scandal-plagued Brownshirt leader Ernst Rohm
- Left-wing Nazi Party leader Gregor Strasser
- Stormtroopers Edmund Heines and Horst Wessel
- Bonus March leader Walter W. "Hot" Waters
- Hitler's suicidal women: Geli Raubal and Eva Braun
- AP reporter and Eleanor Roosevelt's confidante Lorena Hickok
- Eleanor's bodyguard State Police Sgt. Earl Miller
- German film star (and budding Nazi) Leni Riefenstahl
- US military men Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, and George
- An array of stumbling Democratic dark horses: "Alfalfa Bill" Murray,
Albert Ritchie, Newton D. Baker, and Owen D. Young
- 400,000 Brown Shirts
- 20,000 Bonus Marchers
- . . . and millions of desperate unemployed.