Class 4.2

The Struggle for America’s Soul

I’ve spoken repeatedly about the fraught debate that occupied America for over two years after Britain and France declared war on Germany on Sep 3, 1939. Isolationism started out in ascendancy, but most historians agree that interventionism was steadily winning ground before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor cut debate short on Dec 7, 1941.

Lynne Olson wrote an excellent book about this period, Those Angry Days. For class today, I’d like you to read Chapter 2, which takes up the story with Lindbergh’s return to the US in April 1939, at a moment when war in Europe had come to seem inevitable. Olson’s account is full of interesting details. For homework, highlight something you found revelatory or just interesting.

Note: before posting, skim through the contributions of your classmates; if someone has already posted on your topic, either post on a different topic OR write your post as a response to theirs.

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