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Five Days In Philadelphia: The Amazing "We Want Willkie!" Convention of 1940 and How It Freed FDR to Save the Western World
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Five Days In Philadelphia: The Amazing "We Want Willkie!" Convention of 1940 and How It Freed FDR to Save the Western World

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  69 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
There were four strong contenders when the Republican party met in June of 1940 in Philadelphia to nominate its candidate for president: the crusading young attorney and rising Republican star Tom Dewey, solid members of the Republican establishment Robert Taft and Arthur Vandenberg, and dark horse Wendell Willkie, utilities executive, favorite of the literati and only ver ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by PublicAffairs (first published June 30th 2005)
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Aug 25, 2008 Neal rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Political buffs, WW II buffs
Recommended to Neal by: Saw the writer speak on C-Span
This book focuses on a chapter in American political history that is barely touched on today. Wendell Wilkie was the sole anti-Hitler candidate seeking the Republican nomination in 1940. His battle to win the nomination at the 1940 Republican convention over more popular and more established candidates like Robert Taft and Tom Dewey is a pretty amazing story unto itself, especially when compared to the carefully rehearsed and utterly unsurprising conventions of today. But this book also shows ho ...more
Feb 13, 2008 Mark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Political buffs and modern American history buffs
If the reader is old enough to remember when conventions meant something then they might find this book interesting. It is about the 1940 Republican convention and how it changed the history of the United States and ultimately the history of the world.
It is a sparkling insight into the smoke-filled rooms where candidates were made and history was created.
Nov 01, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
This book provides an interesting account of the republican convention of 1940 and the effects it had on the country. The main contest in 1940 for the republicans was between Dewey, Robert Taft and Wendell Willkie who was a democrat turned republican in the final hours to seize the nomination. Dewey to an extent an Taft to an extreme represented the isolationist part of the republican party. This book takes the reader through the convention and the twists and turns that led to the nomination of ...more
Cassius Rovenstine
Jul 26, 2016 Cassius Rovenstine rated it really liked it
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

A wealthy, liberal New York businessman who has never held political office seeks the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He is a man of loose morals who casually cheats on his spouse, and his affiliation with the Republican Party is only as old as his decision to run for president. The national press corps becomes fascinated with his campaign and gives him incalculably valuable free media. His more traditional rivals for the nominati
Jerry Landry
Overall, I enjoyed Peters’s narrative style in describing the 1940 election, but there were some slight factual issues that hopefully were corrected in later editions. Still, I did enjoy the spotlight that Peters placed on Willkie’s role in the lead up to the American entry into World War II. I think he touched upon some points that most historians have not focused heavily on, so he provides a new perspective on a well-studied part of American history.
Bookmarks Magazine

Peters, author of How Washington Really Works, attended the 1940 Democratic convention as a boy, managed John F. Kennedy's 1960 primary in West Virginia's largest county, then moved to Washington, D.C., to help launch the Peace Corps and found The Washington Monthly. He delivers an inspirational book in our era of scripted political conventions devoid of drama and excitement. Readers of Philip Roth's novel The Plot Against America (**** Nov/Dec 2004), which offers a fictional look at that same c

Apr 03, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
This was a recommendation from Mitch Daniels' reading list and did not disappoint. Willkie's upset win of the Republican nomination in 1940 (he was a Democrat for many years prior) over Taft, Vandenberg and Dewey was "a tremendous and historical political revolt of the people against the politicians." As the least isolationist of prominent Republicans, his nomination was critical for the US under FDR to provide aid to Britain via Destroyers-for-Bases and Lend-Lease, for which Willkie was possibl ...more
K.R. Eckert
Jul 25, 2016 K.R. Eckert rated it it was amazing
One of the best book on American politics I've ever read. Anybody who wants to understand electioneering in the United States should read this book.
Leigh Koonce
Jan 24, 2013 Leigh Koonce rated it it was amazing
A fantastic look at the 1940 election! I wasn't very familiar with Wendell Wilkie prior to reading this book, but I like what I learned. Additionally, the author is a Charleston, WV native!
Christine Sermons
I loved this book. It really transported you back into the atmosphere of the time. I know alot about Roosevelt and admire him but I found Wilkie very likable.
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Peters was the founder and former editor-in-chief of The Washington Monthly, a political journal. He is currently the President of Understanding Government, an organization he founded in 1999.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Charles Peters...

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