Most (all?) elementary and secondary school history books present FDR as America's savior who led us out of the Great Depression. Most historians consider him one of the greatest presidents. Charles Rowley - a former economics professor of mine - has managed to set the record straight in only one paragraph.
“Despite the existence of a financial panic, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected into office by Americans who retained a remarkable independence of spirit and willingness to make their own way in life that had been the great legacy of the Founders and of all those freedom-seeking immigrants who had abandoned all they had to seek opportunity in the New World. By his actions while in extended office, FDR transformed a minor Panic into a Great Depression, and sowed the seeds of a progressive socialism that slowly would throttle all enterprise out of the capitalist system. By his pandering to the fears of the weakest remnants, and by his specious use of words of insincere comfort to those who had no desire to flourish as free individuals, FDR weakened the constitution of the People, made the People excessively dependent upon governmment, and sowed the seeds for a redistributive, rather than an entrepreneurial society. FDR was not only a traitor to his class. He was a singularly ill-informed and vacuous traitor to his nation.” Charles K. Rowley, June 25, 2011