The World in Time

Tracy Campbell

Friday, July 24, 2020

Bethlehem Steel Works, by Max Arthur Cohn, 1938. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Max Arthur Cohn, 1978.

Historian Tracy Campbell was not expecting his book on the American home front in 1942 to be as relevant to 2020 as it has become. “After the searing heat of a crisis passes, often the original feelings of impending doom can be almost forgotten,” he writes in the epilogue of The Year of Peril: America in 1942. “The pervasive national anxiety of early 1942 would gradually be replaced by nostalgic and comforting memories of Americans confidently coming together, bound by their ‘righteous might’ to build a vast arsenal that triumphed over enemies on two fronts. That reassuring saga hides a more complicated story. Democracy had survived its most stringent test since the Civil War, but that outcome was far from assured.” On this episode of The World in Time, Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Campbell about what happened in that wartime year and which moments from the book resonate most in 2020.

 

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Tracy Campbell, author of The Year of Peril: America in 1942.

 

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.

 

Read an excerpt of The Year of Peril: America in 1942 on Roundtable

Discussed in this episode

More Podcasts

Night Scene on the Volga, Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov. The Met.

February 02, 2018

The World in Time:

Victor Sebestyen

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Victor Sebestyen, author of Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror. More

The Fall of Man, by Titian, c. 1550.

September 15, 2017

The World in Time:

Stephen Greenblatt

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. More

June 09, 2017

The World in Time:

Ed Yong

Discovering communities of microbes that exist within us. More

June 28, 2019

The World in Time:

Rick Atkinson

Lewis H. Lapham talks with the author of The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775–1777. More

“Cremorne Gardens, No. 2,” by James McNeill Whistler, c. 1870. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1912.

April 20, 2018

The World in Time:

David Cannadine

Lewis H. Lapham talks with David Cannadine, author of Victorious Century: The United Kingdom, 1800–1906. More

June 01, 2011

The World in Time:

What a Prince

Lewis Lapham talks with historian Miles Unger about the Florentine father of modern political science. More