Franklin Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933 confronting twenty-five-percent unemployment, bank closings, and a nationwide crisis in confidence. Between March 9 and June 16, FDR sent Congress a record number of bills, all of which passed easily. With reforms ranging from the legalization of alcohol to mortgage relief for millions of Americans, Roosevelt launched the New Deal that conservatives have been working to roll back ever since. Badger emphasizes Roosevelt’s political gifts even as the president and his Brains Trust of advisors, guided by principles, largely felt their way toward solutions to the nation’s manifold problems. Reintroducing the contingency that marked those fateful days, Badger humanizes Roosevelt and suggests a far more useful yardstick for future presidents: the politics of the possible under the guidance of principle.