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

September 29, 2017

The World in Time:

Peter Frankopan

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World More

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

June 28, 2011

The World in Time:

Another House Divided

Lewis Lapham talks with historian Amanda Foreman about Britain’s role in the American Civil War. More

May 18, 2018

The World in Time:

Barbara Ehrenreich

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer. More

July 07, 2017

The World in Time:

Erica Benner

Lewis H. Lapham talks to Erica Benner, author of Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli in His World. More

July 01, 2011

The World in Time:

Working on the Railroad

Lewis Lapham talks with historian Richard White about the failures of the companies behind a major alteration of the American West. More