Study Guide

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Fireside Chats

Fireside Chats

How did one man transform the government so radically, and so quickly? Witchcraft? Sorcery? Perhaps, but one secret to Roosevelt's success was his "fireside chats," thirty speeches he gave over the radio (and later TV) during his presidency. In his fireside chats, FDR spoke directly to the American people as if they were close friends. The chats were crucial to building support for the New Deal and, later, to mobilizing the nation for World War II. Many Americans came to feel like they were partners in their government with a man whose warm and understanding voice came right into their living rooms. As one businessman later said, "My mother looks upon the President as someone so immediately concerned with her problems and difficulties that she would not be greatly surprised were he to come to her house some evening and stay to dinner."blank" rel="nofollow">World War II—the second major crisis of FDR's presidency—that would finally and completely lift the nation out of the Great Depression. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.