The World in Time

David Levering Lewis

Friday, September 28, 2018

Wendell Willkie’s notification ceremony, Elwood, Indiana, August 17, 1940. Photograph by Charles J. Bell. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Wendell Willkie “was a godsend to this country when we needed him most,” Franklin Delano Roosevelt once told an aide. It’s not the kind of remark you’d expect an incumbent president to say about his opponent, but 1940 stands out among a history of elections: Roosevelt was running for a third term, war hovered over all decisions, and a businessman who used to be a Democrat wound up on the Republican ticket—and ended up consequentially siding with Roosevelt on many issues. Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis has a new book out about the often forgotten Willkie in which he outlines the man’s life and influence in politics, civil rights, and history. Earlier this month, Lewis spoke with Lewis Lapham about his biography of Willkie at an event at the New York Public Library. Listen to their conversation above.

 

Lewis H. Lapham talks with David Levering Lewis, author of The Improbable Wendell Willkie: The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order.

 

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Discussed in this episode

More Podcasts

The 7th New York Militia Regiment marches down Broadway, an illustration from Harper’s Weekly, 1861.

August 18, 2017

The World in Time:

John Strausbaugh

Lewis H. Lapham talks with John Strausbaugh, author of City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War. More

July 27, 2018

The World in Time:

Steven Ujifusa

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Steven Ujifusa, author of Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World’s Fastest Clipper Ship. More

December 06, 2019

The World in Time:

Eugene McCarraher

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity. More

Representation du feu terrible a Nouvelle Yorck, c. 1778, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

January 19, 2018

The World in Time:

Holger Hoock

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Holger Hoock, author of Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth, at a New York Public Library event.  More

October 12, 2018

The World in Time:

Jill Lepore

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States. More

March 02, 2018

The World in Time:

Richard White

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Richard White, author of The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896. More