The Power to Persuade: FDR, the Newsmagazines, and Going to War, 1939-1941
University Press of America, 2005 - 247 pages
The Power to Persuade is the true story of four magazines that persuaded the opposition to support America's entry into World War II, and rallied the electorate to demand belligerent military confrontation against the Nazi-led Axis. In the decisive pre-war years of 1939-1941, four major news magazines, Life, Look, Newsweek, and Time, reached over 40 million readers weekly, or almost 50% of the American electorate. The national audience of these magazines was a key component of the American electorate. Generally middle to upper class, this readership was not an element of President Roosevelt's electoral coalition. Indeed, it was the main component of Roosevelt's political opposition. Yet, by the end of November 1941, that opposition had joined Roosevelt's electoral consensus. The transformation of the American electorate, from the fervent neutrality in 1939, to active belligerence against the Axis powers in 1941, is at the heart of the electorate's evolving support for a role for the United States as the leader of the western alliance. The American Role as the leader of the alliance against the Axis, was rooted in this radical transformation of the American electorate. American unity during WWII and consensus after the war was formulated in this transformation and leadership role. What drove this radical transformation is the question at the center of this book.
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A Note on Methodology
Appendix B Newsreel Content 193841
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Administration's foreign advertising aid to Britain Allies American electorate antiwar approximately April Archibald MacLeish Astor August average Battle of Britain belligerency British campaign Cantril Churchill circulation Collection confrontation Congress cover coverage Cowles December defense policy initiatives editorial content efforts Eleanor Roosevelt FDR Library foreign and defense four newsmagazines France French Harriman Harry Hopkins Henry Henry Luce Hitler Hopkins intensity isolationism issue Japan Japanese July June lead stories leaders Lend-Lease Lindbergh Lindley Look Look's Luce Luce's magazines March measure military million Morgenthau National Affairs national newsmagazines Navy Nazi ascendancy Nazi German Neutrality Act newsmagazines newspapers newsreels Newsweek October Pearl Harbor percent period phony war political consensus polling preparedness presentation presidential Public Opinion quarter Radio Audience readership rearmament reflected Republican response Roosevelt Administration September sevelt Soviet Russia Time's tion U.S. Army United war-related wartime events Wendell Willkie White House World World War II York