Research Colloquium: Talk by David Woolner " FDR in his Last 100 Days: Setting the World on the Path to Peace"
“FDR in his Last 100 Days: Setting the World on the Path to Peace.”
Remarks by David B. Woolner
John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
October 30th, 2023
Given the outbreak of the first major war in Europe since the end of the Second World War, the importance of the transatlantic relationship between the United States and Europe has taken on renewed meaning. Yet the crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine comes at the very time when many Americans have begun to question the extent to which the United States should maintain its commitment to the internationalist agenda laid out by Franklin Roosevelt and the generation that fought and died in the Second World War. What’s more, this uncertainty has led many of America’s closest allies to question whether they can count on US support as they face the many new and dauting challenges of the twenty-first century.
As David Woolner reveals in his book, The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace, the trials facing the world today are not unlike those of the 1930s and 40s, when the efficacy of democratic government was being challenged by the rise of authoritarian regimes in Europe and Asia and by various populous movements within the United States—including the “America First Committee” of 1940.
Drawing on material from The Last 100 Days, Professor Woolner will reflect on what lessons we might learn from this critical era, when a dying President Roosevelt used every ounce of his diminishing energy to pursue what mattered most to him: setting the world on a path to peace.