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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (50+) pres.

How Polio Helped FDR Win the Presidency

James Tobin

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According to the conventional wisdom that has grown up around the public image of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the post-Watergate era, he became president only by fooling the public about the paralysis he suffered as a result of poliomyelitis. In fact, the author’s research shows that FDR made masterful use of his disability as he recovered from the disease and rose to the White House.

After earning a Ph.D. in history at the University of Michigan, lecturer James Tobin spent 20 years as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer. His books include “Ernie Pyle’s War” (1997), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography; “To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight” (2003); and “The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency” (2013). He is currently a Professor of Journalism at Miami University.

This is the fourth in OLLI’S distinguished lecture series for 2019-20. A total of ten lectures are presented covering a variety of topics. Lectures are held on Tuesday mornings once each month. The next lecture will be held January 14, 2020. The title is Living Transgender: The Struggles and Rewards.
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  • $30 for 5-lecture fall series (or $10 for a single lecture daypass, payable at the door; checks preferable). $55 for the 10-lecture fall/winter series.
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