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Why We Fight: The Politics of World War II

The conventional wisdom suggests that moderates matter little. In her new book, Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II, Nancy Beck Young proves otherwise. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman faced a fractious Congress riven by hardcore ideologues, circumstances that empowered moderates—from both parties—to cut deals on economic but not social justice policies. The dominant patterns for postwar politics emerged with liberalism seeming less oriented toward the welfare state and more to the vital center warfare state.

Date & Time

Monday
Mar. 24, 2014
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

Washington History Seminar
Historical Perspectives on International and National Affairs

Why We Fight: The Politics of World War II
Nancy Beck Young
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

The conventional wisdom suggests that moderates matter little.  In her new book, Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II, Nancy Beck Young proves otherwise. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman faced a fractious Congress riven by hardcore ideologues, circumstances that empowered moderates—from both parties—to cut deals on economic but not social justice policies. The dominant patterns for postwar politics emerged with liberalism seeming less oriented toward the welfare state and more to the vital center warfare state. 

Nancy Beck Young is Professor and Chair of the History Department at University of Houston. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995 and has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. Young wrote Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II (2013); Lou Henry Hoover: Activist First Lady (2004); and Wright Patman: Populism, Liberalism, and the American Dream (2000).

Monday March 24, 2014
4:00 p.m. 
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop

March 31: Sergey Radchenko, Aberystwyth University, "An Unwanted Visionary: Gorbachev’s Unrealized Ambitions and the Soviets’ Retreat from Asia"

Reservations requested because of limited seating:
WHS@wilsoncenter.org

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support.

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Speaker

Nancy Beck Young

Nancy Beck Young

Former Fellow;
Associate Professor of History, McKendree College
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Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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