Roosevelt House is pleased to present a live Zoom discussion of The Sailor: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Transformation of American Foreign Policy by David F. Schmitz. In this illuminating study, Schmitz presents an overdue and comprehensive reassessment of President Franklin Roosevelt’s foreign policymaking. The author will be in conversation with author and historian Steven Brady.

Groundbreaking and deeply researched, The Sailor draws on a wealth of primary documents and the latest secondary sources to challenge the long-standing argument that FDR’s international approach was more reactionary than visionary. In particular, Schmitz probes the common view of FDR as a leader who resisted an established international strategy and was forced to respond quickly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, launching the nation into World War II. In so doing, The Sailor demonstrates that FDR was both consistent and calculating in guiding the direction of American foreign policy—and positions FDR among the most successful foreign policymakers in the nation’s history. Included is close consideration of the particular policies and strategies FDR pursued in response to the crises of the 1930s—and how they helped to transform Americans’ thinking about their place in the world.

David F. Schmitz is the Robert Allen Skotheim Chair of History at Whitman College. He is the author of The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940; Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War: The End of the American Century; Thank God They’re on Our Side: The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1921-1965The Triumph of Internationalism: Franklin D. Roosevelt and a World in Crisis, 1933–1941; and The Tet Offensive: Politics, War, and Public Opinion.

Steven Brady is a professor of history at George Washington University and a diplomatic historian with research interests in German-American relations, early U.S. foreign relations, and the Cold War. He is the author of Eisenhower and Adenauer: Alliance Maintenance under Pressure and the forthcoming Chained to History: Slavery and U.S. Foreign Relations to 1865. His current book project is Less than Total Victory: American Catholics and the Vietnam War.

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David Schmitz — The Sailor: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Transformation of American Foreign Policy | Posted on June 11th, 2021 | Book Discussions, Public Programs