Why Wendell Willkie’s Vision of Internationalism Remains Essential Today

Wendelll Willkie, who girdled the globe in a tour to observe firsthand the conduct of the war in the Allied nations, rehearses his report to the nation at a radio station, in New York City, Oct. 26, 1942 (AP photo by Murray Becker).
Wendelll Willkie, who girdled the globe in a tour to observe firsthand the conduct of the war in the Allied nations, rehearses his report to the nation at a radio station, in New York City, Oct. 26, 1942 (AP photo by Murray Becker).
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Seventy-seven years ago this summer, Wendell Willkie did something remarkable. The failed Republican presidential candidate, defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, embarked on a round-the-world tour that helped expand America’s horizons and propel the nation toward a policy of internationalism that shaped the postwar global order. Undertaken at FDR’s behest, Willkie’s 49-day odyssey captured the American imagination and lifted his country in thought and spirit. “One World,” his hopeful account of that trip, quickly became one of the best-selling nonfiction books in American history, with a print run of more than 2 million copies. Its thesis was plain: The […]

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