Wendell Willkie

Willkie, Wendell Lewis

Wendell Lewis Willkie, 1892–1944, American industrialist and political leader, b. Elwood, Ind. He practiced law in Ohio (1914–23) and in New York (1923–33) before he became president (1933) of the Commonwealth and Southern Corp., a giant utility holding company. Although a Democrat, Willkie became a leading spokesman of business interests opposed to the New Deal. He finally enrolled as a Republican in 1940 and in that year was nominated by the Republican party for the presidency. In his campaign he endorsed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's foreign policy but attacked the New Deal at home. Although defeated in the election, he polled more than 22 million votes (the largest popular vote received by a defeated candidate up to that time). He later (1941–42) visited England, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, and China as the President's personal representative. He led the fight (1942–44) to liberalize the Republican party, mainly attacking isolationism. He wrote One World (1943) and An American Program (1944).

See biographies by W. Severn (1967) and S. Neal (1984); study by W. Moscow (1968).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Wendell Willkie: Selected full-text books and articles

An American Program By Wendell L. Willkie Simon and Schuster, 1944
Never Again: A President Runs for a Third Term By Herbert S. Parmet; Marie B. Hecht Macmillan, 1968
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "'We Want Willkie!'"
Realignment and Party Revival: Understanding American Electoral Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century By Arthur Paulson Praeger Publishers, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "The Willkie Crusade" begins on p. 79
Presidential Campaigns By Paul F. Boller Jr Oxford University Press, 1996 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Thirty-Nine "1940: Roosevelt, Willkie, and the War in Europe"
Public Men in and out of Office By J. T. Salter The University of North Carolina Press, 1946
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Wendell Willkie: The Party's Embarrassing Conscience"
The Republican Dilemma: Conservatism or Progressivism By Conrad Joyner University of Arizona Press, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "The Immortal Amateur" begins on p. 31, "We Want Willkie" begins on p. 49, and "Why They Wanted Willkie" begins on p. 63
27 Masters of Politics: In a Personal Perspective By Raymond Moley Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1949
Librarian’s tip: "The Immortal Amateur --Wendell Willkie" begins on p. 46
Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns, and Elections By William C. Binning; Larry E. Esterly; Paul A. Sracic Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Willkie, Wendell L. (1892-1944)" begins on p. 440
The Roosevelt Era By Milton Crane Boni and Gaer, 1947
Librarian’s tip: "The Education of Wendell Willkie" begins on p. 461 and "One World" by Wendell Wilkie begins on p. 479
Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 By David M. Kennedy Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Wendell Willkie begins on p. 455
Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy By Basil Rauch Creative Age Press, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Wendell Willkie begins on p. 263
The Greatest Convention: In 1940, the Contest Was Never Closer, the Stakes Never Higher By Peters, Charles The Washington Monthly, Vol. 36, No. 7-8, July-August 2004
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