Posted on November 11, 2020 · Posted in Roosevelt House General News

We invite you to attend
The Best of Roosevelt House
An online encore of public programs presented at
The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College
Roosevelt House Marks Veterans Day

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.


To mark Veterans Day and to honor veterans of wars past and present, including our own veteran Hunter students, we are pleased to present a selection of Roosevelt House programs from the vault that examine U.S. military participation in wars as far back as World War I and as recent as Vietnam.

The first, from October 2017, features a talk by Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel entitled, “World War I: The Hero and the Conscience—‘Wild Bill’ Donovan and Roger Baldwin.In it, Ambassador vanden Heuvel chronicles and contrasts the lives of a military hero and a conscientious objector who, respectively, defined the military valor required of U.S. forces in Europe and in the concurrent struggle over civil liberties taking place at home—both of whom young vanden Heuvel knew personally. This program was presented as part of the grand opening of a Roosevelt House exhibition—“World War I and the Roosevelts: Franklin and Eleanor, Family and Friends”—to commemorate the 100th anniversary of U.S. engagement in WWI. Curated by Roosevelt House Historian Deborah Gardner and including rare American and European military recruitment and fundraising posters, among many other fascinating and significant items, this exhibition will soon be available in its entirety on the Roosevelt House website.

The second, from November 2017, also presented in association with the exhibition, is a theatrical reading entitled, “His Dark Land,” starring award-winning actors Stephen Lang and James Naughton, with narration from Jonathan F. Fanton Director of Roosevelt House Harold Holzer. A dramatic reimagining of a suspended and surreal moment in history, “His Dark Land” unearths the mystery, confronts the controversy, and dramatizes the story of the fabled World War I “Lost Battalion”—and its tragic commander, Colonel Charles Whittlesey (Stephen Lang). As Whittlesey confronts his demons after the war, his turmoil, torment, and pride emerge—and are made manifest in an intimate, soul-searching conversation with a journalist who had been in wartime Europe to report on the “Lost Battalion,” Damon Runyon (James Naughton). Through this exchange, light is shed on the battered generation who fought in the war, survived it, and then struggled to live with their haunting memories.

The third, from December 2018, a few weeks after the centennial of the WWI Armistice, “Stories From Flanders Fields: Perspectives on the Great War Centennial,” includes Professor Jonathan Rosenberg from Hunter’s History Department in conversation with Ivan Adriaenssens, author of World War I themed graphic novels The Nieuport GatheringThe Last Braedy, and Cher AmiKaren Derycke, Scientific Officer at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917; and Christopher Sims, author of The Soldiers of the Flanders Field American Military Cemetery. Among the topics considered is the importance of conserving the heritage of the First World War in Flanders, Belgium, where Germany invaded in August 1914 and which endured the status of prison state until the end of the war. Discussing this relatively unknown chapter of the war, panelists address the varied commemorative elements in Belgium cemeteries, literature, and exhibitions.

Finally, from September 2017, presents preeminent historian Geoffrey C. Ward in conversation with Jonathan F. Fanton Director of Roosevelt House Harold Holzer about his book, The Vietnam War: An Intimate History. Rather than taking sides, the book—just like the accompanying PBS documentary film The Vietnam War directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick—seeks to shed light on the reasons the war occurred, and to clarify its complicated legacy.

Please tune in below:

Click here to watch Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel —
World War I: The Hero and the Conscience—‘Wild Bill’ Donovan and Roger Baldwin.

Click here to watch His Dark Land

Click here to watch Stories From Flanders Fields:
Perspectives on the Great War Centennial

Click here to watch Geoffrey C. Ward —
The Vietnam War: An Intimate History

Dear Friend of Roosevelt House:

Thank you for attending our public programs in such great numbers during these fraught eight months of lockdown and social distancing. Since March, when the pandemic first struck New York and the house closed its doors, we have welcomed more than 10,000 attendees to Roosevelt House Zoom events. Our priority has been, and remains, assembling the best thinkers and authors we can bring before you, in both new and encore programming, to help us both to remember past crises and challenges, and navigate the challenges of the current crisis. Even though we very much miss welcoming you to Roosevelt House in person, we pledge to you that, as long as we must, we will continue featuring opportunities for civic engagement online.

To fulfill these goals we look to you, more than ever, for your crucially needed financial support. December 1 is “Giving Tuesday,” and we ask that you help us navigate these unprecedented times—and opportunities—by contributing to Roosevelt House so that our programming can continue robustly.


Many thanks—and thank you, as always, for your loyalty and generosity.

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