FDR: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Corbis) examines the life and times of FDR, with a definite focus on his Presidential years, through photos, audio, text, and an impressive array of digitally-reproduced documents. Much of the CD-ROM plays like any other slide show-type program, with five “chapters” covering the presidency, five other sections covering the Roosevelt homes, and a timeline hooking it all together. Each “chapter” – a five or ten minute slide show – is complemented by a “gallery,” in which Corbis gets to put all their digital images to good use. And the images themselves – including the work of such legendary photographers as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Ben Shahn – are drawn in part from the archives of the Farm Security Administration (Corbis has a gallery section on their Web site, http://www.corbis.com, that showcases more of this work). It is the meticulous documentation, however, which elevates this disc above similar CD-ROMs. Go through the “day that will live in infamy” by browsing first drafts of speeches, personal diary entries, and plentiful photographs (and learn, along the way, that FDR’s original statement was “a day that will live in world history”). The intelligent commentary by historians Doris Kearns Goodwin, Geoffrey Ward, and Bill Leuchtenberg add insight and, occasionally, humor to the mix. The program’s organization is both clever and simple, with quick links always showing the way back to any stage of the program. We happily recommend FDR as a multimedia experience worth having.
– November 1996, History & Mythology