In 1926, a relatively unknown Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech at Milton Academy. This speech, one of the few he gave following the 1921 attack of polio, is foundational to several important speeches Roosevelt would give after being elected governor and president. The speech comes at a crucial year for Roosevelt, a year that brought back confidence and optimism about his political comeback. The speech's thesis is an ode to progressive thinking and it argues for the benefits of progressive change relative to the comfort of conservative thinking. In the speech, Roosevelt seeks to reposition the Democratic Party's recent political setbacks and find a new platform for its renewal as an attractive and substantive ideology. The speech is also about Roosevelt and his optimism and confidence despite the personal setback. The speech is revealing about Roosevelt's handling of his disability and portents important features of his political comeback only few years away.
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