The Improbable Wendell Willkie
In the wake of one of the most tumultuous Republican conventions ever, the party of Lincoln nominated in 1940 a prominent businessman and former Democrat who could have saved America's sclerotic political system. Although Wendell Lewis Willkie would lose to FDR, acclaimed biographer David Levering Lewis demonstrates that the corporate…
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In the 1930s, Wendell Willkie was a Democrat who sided with big business and criticized Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt. Then, in a whirlwind, Willkie switched parties and won the Republication presidential nomination in June 1940.
After FDR won the election of 1940, Willkie shattered party expectations again when he called upon Congress to pass FDR’s controversial Lend Lease program to send military aid to European nations facing the assault of Hitler’s Nazi armies.
Willkie also took a strong stance in support of civil rights. Time and again, he proved he was a leader with a nimble mind unfettered by party…
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