A book discussion with author Michael Fullilove. Moderated by Professor Andrew Polsky.
In the dark days between Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 and Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent five remarkable men--Sumner Welles, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Harry Hopkins, Averell Harriman, and Wendell Willkie--on special missions to Europe. The missions were highly unorthodox and they confounded and infuriated diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic. Their importance is little understood to this day. Taken together, the envoy’s missions plot the arc of America’s transformation from a divided and hesitant middle power into the global leader. At the center of everything, of course, was FDR himself, who moved his envoys around the globe with skill and élan.