Posted on August 13, 2020 · Posted in Book Discussions, Public Programs, Roosevelt House General News

We invite you to attend another public program—online
The Best of Roosevelt House
An online encore of public programs presented at
The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College

We are pleased to continue our series of encore online presentations of Roosevelt House public programming—to inform and inspire us during these challenging days.


In recent years, Roosevelt House has presented dozens of extraordinary, in-person talks and conversations with public policy and human rights experts, historians, writers, and leaders in business, culture, and government.

Now, recognizing that many of our members and supporters yearn to maintain their close connection to our agenda of civic engagement, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to re-examine programs you may have attended in the past, or to see such events for the first time.


As the country continues to confront the Coronavirus pandemic as well as its long history of social and racial injustice, we take a moment to consider another fraught period of our country’s history. In this encore presentation, Roosevelt House offers a series of programs from the archive—each representing a distinct approach to the history of World War II and its dramatic conclusion—to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-J Day on August 15, 1945. While FDR did not live to see it, this quintet of programs makes clear the vital role his actions played in bringing about an end to the war.

The first, from May 2019, features award-winning historian Nigel Hamilton discussing the stirring climax to his three-part saga of FDR as Commander-in-Chief: War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945. In it, Hamilton vividly recreates the final months of Roosevelt’s life, during which he suffered through increasingly poor health while leading the U.S. toward victory. Along the way, Hamilton shows how Roosevelt “held the feet of the British to the D-Day fire” during the 1943 Tehran meetings, when Churchill began to doubt Allied strategy, won an unprecedented fourth term as president, and met with Stalin and Churchill at Yalta to plan for a postwar world order.

The next program, from May 2018, brings together one of America’s most acclaimed naval historians, Craig L. Symonds, with Jonathan Fanton Director of Roosevelt House Harold Holzer for a conversation about World War II at Sea: A Global History, a complete narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world’s oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945. In it, Symonds draws fresh portraits of the roles and personalities of the notable naval leaders of all nationalities—FDR and Churchill, as well as Karl Dönitz and Isoroku Yamamoto, among others. He helps to illuminate not only the mechanics of large-scale warfare on—and below—the sea, but offers insight into the unique nature of World War II itself.

From April 2017, Lewis E. Lehrman, Senior Partner of L. E. Lehrman & Co. and co-founder of the The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, discusses his book, Churchill, Roosevelt & Company: Studies in Character and Statecraft. In this talk, Lehrman explores the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain that cemented the alliance that won the war in the West—including the clashes of principles and personalities between and within the leadership of the two nations. Lehrman’s portraits of the men who worked the back channels and back rooms—the generals and admirals, secretaries and under secretaries, ambassadors and ministers—show how the President and Prime Minister managed their subordinates and reveals the personal diplomacy and statecraft at the core of the Anglo-American alliance.

Next, from September 2016, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former executive editor of The New York Times Joseph Lelyveld talks about His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. In this program, Lelyveld discusses Roosevelt’s tense final months and shows how FDR juggled the strategic, political, and personal choices he faced as the war, his presidency, and his life raced in tandem to their climax.

Finally, from March 2018, is a talk by historian and Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute David B. Woolner about his book, The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and At Peace, an exploration of the drama—and enduring consequence—of the final months of FDR’s life and presidential administration. He is joined by Richard Aldous, author of Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian, for a discussion that covers the policies FDR pursued in 1945 despite diminishing energy, making his determined efforts all the more impressive. They include: the establishment of the United Nations, the reinvigoration of the New Deal, and the possibility of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Please tune in below:


Nigel Hamilton – War and Peace

Craig L. Symonds – World War II at Sea

Lewis E. Lehrman – Churchill, Roosevelt, and Company

Joseph Lelyveld – His Final Battle

David B. Woolner – The Last 100 Days


Join us—this week and in the weeks to come—as we present The Best of Roosevelt House.

With sincere wishes for your good health…

Jennifer J. RaabPresident, Hunter College
Harold HolzerJonathan F. Fanton Director, Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute

To all our Roosevelt House participants, visitors, and guests: we are grateful and comforted to know that you remain connected to the Hunter family during this difficult moment in history.  As we work to put our programming archive at your disposal, we are also aware that some Hunter students now face daunting challenges regarding lost jobs, diminished income, pending bills, and access to computers and software that will enable them to continue their semesters through Hunter online learning.  Please consider supporting Hunter students by making  gift to the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund. Thank you.

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For information on all upcoming Hunter@Home events and to watch past events, visit