The World in Time

Nigel Hamilton

Friday, May 17, 2019

Marshall Josef Stalin, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Russian Embassy in Tehran, Iran, 1943. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Office of War Information Collection.

“Many historians—too many—have judged Franklin Roosevelt’s military role in World War II,” Nigel Hamilton writes in the prologue to War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945, “on the basis of his final year in the Oval Office”—a period of time when he was gravely and terminally ill—“entirely misconstruing his singular, overarching contribution to victory over the Third Reich and the Empire of Japan.”


“My aim,” Hamilton continues, “has been not only to chart with fresh clarity how dire was his affliction, but how exactly it affected his decisions and once masterly performance as commander in chief of the Western Allies in World War II after Pearl Harbor. It was a record that Winston Churchill—who had been a great national leader, but a deeply flawed commander in chief of British Empire forces—was only too happy to take from him in literary retrospect.”


The award-winning historian joins Lewis H. Lapham on the podcast to discuss the third and final volume of his biography of the U.S. president, detailing FDR’s legacy and his last moments.


Lewis H. Lapham talks with Nigel Hamilton, author of War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945.


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

August 16, 2019

The World in Time:

Ziya Tong

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions that Shape Our World. More

February 12, 2021

The World in Time:

David S. Brown

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Last American Aristocrat: The Brilliant Life and Improbable Education of Henry Adams. More

November 27, 2020

The World in Time:

Edward D. Melillo

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern 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

June 15, 2018

The World in Time:

Steve Fraser

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Steve Fraser, author of Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion. More

June 23, 2017

The World in Time:

Kory Stamper

Lewis Lapham talks with Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.     More