Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Eric Rauchway's "Winter War," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal by Eric Rauchway.

The entry begins:
Winter War covers the conflict between Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in the months between the 1932 election and Roosevelt's first inauguration in March 1933. It was an especially fraught period in US and world history: the depression worsened into a crippling bank panic, Hitler took power in Germany, and Japan rejected the League of Nations—all while the defeated Hoover still held the presidency and Roosevelt remained a private citizen.

If I were making it into a movie, I would write it from the point of view of the aides to the two men, as indeed for the book I relied largely on the diaries and correspondence of their aides. Making the staff the story helps us, I think, to understand what kind of people flocked to these leaders' political agendas—much as The West Wing sometimes did. Roosevelt's aides were, many of them, marginalized figures: Jews, Catholics, disabled people (like Roosevelt himself) and politically active women. Hoover, by contrast, tended to attract and employ middle-aged white men with firm views. Over the period of time the book covers, Roosevelt's people had to learn to move out of the margins, and to wield power; Hoover's men learned that while they had to give up power, they did not have to accept defeat.

So now the fun part: casting; just for fun, keeping myself to living actors. I'd like to see Alec Baldwin and Stephen Root as Roosevelt and Hoover, respectively. They both have great range, and about the right look, and I have tremendous respect for actors who have both comic and dramatic chops, as I think they do. But as I say, if I were writing a movie I'd put the two presidents into important, but not point-of-view, roles.

In the Hoover camp, I'd want to see...[read on]
Learn more about Winter War and follow Eric Rauchway on Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Eric Rauchway's Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America.

My Book, The Movie: Winter War.

--Marshal Zeringue