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The Improbable Wendell Willkie

Nonfiction: Biography, History
Unabridged   12.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 11/27/2018

The Improbable Wendell Willkie

The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684411689
Digital Download ISBN:9781684411696


From the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner comes this surprising portrait of Wendell Willkie, the businessman–turned–presidential candidate who (almost) saved America’s dysfunctional political system.

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Product Description

In the wake of one of the most tumultuous conventions in Republican history, the party of Lincoln nominated in 1940 a prominent businessman and Wall Street attorney for president. Though Wendell Willkie would lose to FDR, David Levering Lewis reveals in this news-making reclamation that the story of this Hoosier-born corporate chairman's life is the story of an America that could have been. Popular for his down-home Midwestern charm and unaffected candor, Willkie possessed a supple intellect and a concealed disdain for political opportunism that, had he not died prematurely, would have revolutionized American politics with its advocacy of bipartisanship and social responsibility. Not only was he the first presidential candidate to speak before the NAACP, advocating a civil rights movement in the 1940s, but Willkie also bucked American isolationism and became the first to champion the nation’s involvement in international politics. Vibrantly recounted, The Improbable Wendell Willkie affirms the legacy of an American icon.


“At a time when our political system seems alarmingly immoral and rudderless, David Levering Lewis’ The Improbable Wendell Willkie offers a powerful reminder of practical bipartisanship, visionary internationalism, and committed civil liberties and civil rights.” —Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor & Publisher, The Nation

“[An] insightful, disciplined biography….In Mr. Lewis’s telling, Willkie emerges as the kind of figure who is missing on the political stage today: the classical liberal, who stands for individual rights at home and will fight tyranny abroad.” —Amity Shlaes, Wall Street Journal

Author Bio

David Levering Lewis, the author of God's Crucible, is professor emeritus of history at New York University. A recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Lewis received the Pulitzer Prize for each volume of his W.E.B. Du Bois biography. He lives in New York City.