In 1940, against the explosive backdrop of the Nazi onslaught in Europe, two farsighted candidates for the U.S. presidency—Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for an unprecedented third term, and talented Republican businessman Wendell Willkie—found themselves on the defensive against American isolationists and their charismatic spokesman Charles Lindbergh, who called for surrender to Hitler's demands. In this dramatic account of that turbulent and consequential election, historian Susan Dunn brings to life the debates, the high-powered players, and the dawning awareness of the Nazi threat as the presidential candidates engaged in their own battle for supremacy.
"Susan Dunn's gripping book shows us that the further we get from 1940, the more obvious it is that this moment was a turning point for Western civilization. With fresh research and original insights, Dunn allows us to watch and assess such figures as FDR, Hitler and Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, Wendell Willkie, Henry Wallace, Joseph Kennedy and others as they play out their roles, large and small, in the horrifying, onrushing drama. Anyone today who believes that U.S. involvement and the ultimate Allied triumph in World War II was inevitable must read this important history."—Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author of Presidential Courage
"Susan Dunn, a prolific and outstanding historian, has crafted a fast-paced, serious, and extraordinarily well-researched book about the events surrounding the pivotal 1940 election. Her main characters—FDR, Wendell Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler—come brilliantly to life. I could hardly put the book down." —James T. Patterson, author of Bancroft Prize-winning Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974