The Willkie What-If: F.D.R.’s Hybrid-Party Plot

A remarkable thing almost happened to the two-party system in the summer of ’44: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic President, about to be nominated for a fourth term, began a political flirtation with Wendell Willkie, the businessman Republican he’d defeated four years earlier, with the idea of forming a joint venture. No matter that, in 1940, Willkie had criticized the slowness of the economic recovery and, as Hitler’s Germany overran Europe, what he saw as American...

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