From Yorktown to the Civil War, Pearl Harbor to 9/11, discover the pivotal moments that defined each president’s life and legacy and the lessons we can draw from them. New episodes available the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month.
Joe Kennedy Jr. used his intellect, connections, and more than a few shady stock market tricks to become one of the wealthiest men in America. Once there, he threw his vast fortune behind the political aspirations of his children, challenging them to do good in the world. But tragedy was always a step away. Within a year of Joe's crowning achievement, the presidential inauguration of his son, Jack, Joe was struck down by a stroke. He lived 8 more years, helplessly watching as two sons were felled by assassins bullets.
Historian David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, discusses theShakespearean tragedy that is Joe Kennedy Sr.
As the election of 1952 approached, one thing seemed certain – a staunch isolationist, senator Robert Taft, was going to be the GOP’s presidential nominee and the next president of the United States. Which was a major concern to anyone who feared the United States retreating back to its borders would invite Soviet conquest in the 50s just as it had invited Nazi conquest in the 30s. And so a plan was hatched to draft Eisenhower, the supreme commander of a fledgling NATO, to defeat Taft at home so the United States could defeat soviet influence abroad. The fate of the GOP, and the world, hung in the balance – would the later half of the 20th century be an isolationist one, or an international one?
Historian Christopher Nichols, who is currently working on a book about the 1952 election, discusses the pivotal race that set the stage for the rest of the Cold War.