A Different Mirror

A Different Mirror

by

Ronald Takaki

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt Character Analysis

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States. During his time in office, he signed the New Deal and other acts of legislation that helped the country emerge from the Great Depression and conferred certain advantages to ethnic minorities in the US. At the same time, he also failed to desegregate the armed forces during the Second World War despite calls for him to do so, and similarly failed to accept Jewish refugees from Europe even after receiving confirmed reports of the Nazi genocide.
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt Character Timeline in A Different Mirror

The timeline below shows where the character President Franklin D. Roosevelt appears in A Different Mirror. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: A Different Mirror
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...In the end, 186,000 black men fought, which proved essential to Union victory. Later, President Roosevelt’s decision not to desegregate the army during the Second World War led many people of... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 9: The “Indian Question”
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Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
...practice, while allowing indigenous peoples to govern themselves and promoting the preservation of indigenous cultures. Roosevelt was pleased with the bill, which came to be known as the “Indian New Deal.”... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 13: To “the Land of Hope”
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...desperate poverty and starvation, black people received little help from the New Deal. Disappointed by Roosevelt, many black political leaders began arguing for “voluntary segregation.” They reasoned that becoming economically independent... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 14: World War II
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Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Just over a year after President Roosevelt made a speech about the importance of human rights and freedom, the Japanese dropped bombs... (full context)
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Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed an order allowing individual Military Commanders to decide whether to place people in military... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...in the US, which disqualified them from serving in the US army. In December 1943, Roosevelt “hypocritically” wrote that no American citizenship should be denied the chance to serve in the... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...Randolph  threatened a March on Washington in order to protest this policy. Alarmed by this, Roosevelt signed an Executive Order banning racial and ethnic discrimination in the defense industries. (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Labor, Profit, and the Building of the Nation Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...of them black, and millions of dollars in property was destroyed. Many felt that President Roosevelt should speak out against race riots, but he was worried about “irritat[ing] the southern leaders.”... (full context)
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Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...belief began to crumble in 1938 after Kristallnacht, a night of violence against Jewish businesses. Roosevelt condemned the attacks, but was hesitant to expand the existing quota for Jewish immigrants. (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...bill offering entry to refugee children encountered opposition from much of the American public. Eleanor Roosevelt urged her husband to support the bill, but President Roosevelt was too worried about public... (full context)
Unity vs. Division Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...from Jewish leaders, little attention was brought to the issue. Rabbi Wise pleaded with President Roosevelt to take direct action to try and save European Jews, but Roosevelt dismissed this possibility,... (full context)
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Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
Segregation vs. Assimilation Theme Icon
Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Roosevelt’s only concession was to offer a shelter for a mere 1,000 refugees. By the time... (full context)
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Whiteness and the Other Theme Icon
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Citizenship, Identity, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Harry Truman became president unexpectedly, after President Roosevelt suddenly died on April 12, 1945. Truman was a Southerner; his ancestors were enslavers. In... (full context)