WENDELL WILLKIE by Mary Earhart Dillon


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Certainly the most comprehensive work about the man, this biography puts him clearly in relation to his times as a clarifier of New Deal thought, as an important factor in the changed course of American political thought. As an experienced teacher of political science and as chairman of the Department of Political Science at Queens College in New York, Mary Earhart Dillon's work is scholarly, well rounded, readable. With Willkie as her man and her sympathies entirely with him, she takes him through his Indiana youth, his days as the president of Commonwealth and Southern, his political candidacy, his spectacular activities as a negotiator for world unity- the while analyzing extensively the different trends that acted and reacted to form the pattern of his life. The TVA-Public Utilities controversy is in sharp focus- with Willkie as the staunch, wise champion of private enterprise; there was his ironical rallying of isolationist support to Roosevelt in 1940; there is the debate as to how far Willkie was the founder of bi- partisan foreign policy; there is bitter criticism of the unfriendly way he handled his campaign of 1940. The author had called her book ""a study in public opinion, party politics, and public relations"" which it is, often to the point of obscuring Willkie the man, but in the light of overall reading a definite picture of his character emerges- in reality a character that has to be defined in terms of the public to which it was bound. A broad, devoted, and admirable study.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1952
Publisher: Lippincott