The untold story of the most crucial bipartisan alliance in United States history.
As Adolf Hitler’s Nazi armies threatened Europe, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged a divided America to mobilize to defend democracy and freedom. Many Republicans accused FDR of leading the nation needlessly into war and demanded that America remain neutral. On June 20, 1940, FDR shocked the world by announcing that two prominent Republicans would take posts in his cabinet in the name of national unity. Henry Stimson, former President Herbert Hoover’s secretary of state, became secretary of war, and Frank Knox, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1936, became secretary of the navy.
Forming an alliance across party lines was a bold move that ran contrary to partisan pressures and political convenience. It also placed a bipartisan relationship at the center of America’s confrontation with global fascism. Stimson and Knox played critical roles in leading the war effort, the nation’s capital gained a new spirit of collaboration, and many bills passed Congress during the war years with backing from both parties. In a nation so often marred by political upheaval, the FDR-Stimson coalition stands as a historic act of political courage that led America to victory in World War II.
Uniting America by Peter Shinkle is the first book to paint a full portrait of this extraordinary collaboration, tracing it back to its origins in 1933. Shinkle reveals the true extent of bipartisanship during the war, including previously undisclosed information about Stimson’s work with 1940 Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie and other Republicans who supported FDR. This fascinating and deeply researched book is a must-read for anyone who believes America must once again unite to defend democracy.
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“An elegant and timely book that showcases a remarkable collaboration…Shinkle illuminates a memorable example of how history can offer lessons for today.”
Susan Eisenhower, author of How Ike Led