“Once upon a time, when it really mattered, America was led by statesmen who could rise above partisanship. Peter Shinkle has given us a very readable, at times moving account of two men who led America—and the free world—through its darkest hour.”
— Evan Thomas, author of Ike’s Bluff and First: Sandra Day O’Connor
“In a time when our politics has become more polarized than ever, how refreshing to revisit an era when a Democratic president forged a pact with leading Republicans to defend democracy in a moment of extreme peril. With lucid writing and deep archival research, Peter Shinkle brilliantly reconstructs how FDR worked with Henry Stimson and other high-minded members of the GOP to unite the country during World War II, a story he convincingly argues may have been “the greatest bipartisan alliance in our nation’s history.”
— Michael Isikoff, co-author, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump
“In these days of fierce partisanship in the United States, Peter Shinkle sheds light on a critical time in history when both parties united behind their President to face and fight the evil forces of Hitler’s fascism. My hope as an American first, and Republican second, is that we will come together anew to solve the significant problems facing our country and the world.”
— William Webster, former federal judge and former director of the FBI and CIA
“Peter Shinkle has written an elegant and timely book that showcases a remarkable collaboration between Democrat Franklin Roosevelt and Republican Secretary of War Henry Stimson. In doing so it illuminates a memorable example of how history can offer lessons for today.”
— Susan Eisenhower, author, How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions
“Franklin Roosevelt valued Henry Stimson as a competent administrator and straight-talking adviser, but also as a symbol of national unity during wartime. Whether they agreed on a given issue or not, FDR could count on Stimson to have his back. In this meticulously researched and trenchantly argued book, Shinkle sheds fresh light on an impactful partnership.”
— Michael J. Birkner Professor of History at Gettysburg College, author of The Worlds of James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens
How FDR and Henry Stimson
Brought Democrats and Republicans
Together to Win World War II
by Peter Shinkle
The untold story of the most crucial bipartisan alliance in United States history.
As Adolf Hitler’s Nazi armies threatened Europe, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged a divided America to mobilize to defend democracy and freedom. Many Republicans accused FDR of leading the nation needlessly into war and demanded that America remain neutral. On June 20, 1940, FDR shocked the country by announcing that two prominent Republicans would take posts in his cabinet. Henry Stimson, former President Herbert Hoover’s secretary of state, became secretary of war, and Frank Knox, the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 1936, became secretary of the navy.
Roosevelt intended the appointments to build national unity. But building a coalition across party lines was a risky move that could have backfired politically. It also placed a bipartisan relationship at the center of America’s confrontation with global fascism. FDR’s Republican allies went on to play critical roles in leading the war effort, and many bills passed Congress during the war years with strong backing from both parties. Following Roosevelt’s death, Stimson continued to champion bipartisanship under President Truman in the closing chapter of the war. This alliance stands as a historic example of united leadership in a nation scarred by political division.
Uniting America is the first book to paint a full portrait of this extraordinary collaboration, tracing it back to its origins in 1933. Author Peter Shinkle reveals the true extent of bipartisanship during the war, including previously undisclosed information about Stimson’s work with 1940 Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie and other Republicans who supported FDR. This fascinating and deeply researched book is a must-read for anyone who believes America must once again unite to defend democracy at home and abroad.
Ike's Mystery Man
The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler
Ike's Mystery Man tells how Eisenhower's National Security Advisor Robert "Bobby" Cutler - working alongside Ike and also the Dulles brothers at the CIA and State Department - shaped US Cold War strategy in far more consequential ways than has been previously understood. Bobby also left behind a six-volume diary which reveals that he was in love with a man half his age, NSC staffer Skip Koons. Their friend Steve Benedict, who also is gay, became Ike's White House Security Officer. In addition to Bobby's diary, Ike's Mystery Man relies on thousands of personal letters, interviews, and previously classified archives to tell a gripping story that has never before been told.
Praise for Ike's Mystery Man:
“This astonishing American story transcends politics. It is about how power was wielded in Washington during the 1950s, but also about the eternal conflict between public life and private emotion. Poignant diary entries enrich the narrative of a presidential counselor who spent his life dealing with that conflict.”
“A honeyed, scintillating and ultimately sad tale of gay love at the highest reaches of the Eisenhower White House...Shinkle’s stunning book is well-documented with previously undisclosed diaries and letters. Ike’s Mystery Man is a formidable achievement, casting new light on America in the 1950s.”
PETER SHINKLE worked for 19 years as a reporter at various news organizations, including most recently the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He covered the federal court system, and also wrote investigative stories on subjects ranging from improper disposal of radioactive waste to contamination spread by a lead mining company. He is the author of Ike's Mystery Man, the Secret Lives of Robert Cutler.
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