Wendell Willkie, a Midwestern businessman-turned-Republican politician, fought for desegregation, workers’ rights, and small government in his 1940 bid for president. As a result, he won the largest percentage of Republican votes in a generation. David Levering Lewis discusses this oft-overlooked historical figure, who championed bipartisan cooperation and putting country over party—even when it cost him the support of Republican Party officials.
David Levering Lewis, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, is the author of The Improbable Wendell Willkie: The Businessman Who Saved The Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order. David Nasaw (moderator), a historian and biographer, is the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center.
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