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Selling War in a Media AgeThe Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century$
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Kenneth Osgood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034669

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034669.001.0001

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Selling Different Kinds of War

Selling Different Kinds of War

Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Public Opinion during World War II

(p.67) 3 Selling Different Kinds of War
Selling War in a Media Age
Andrew L. Johns, Kenneth Osgood
University Press of Florida

This chapter argues that Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) succeeded brilliantly in selling a series of different wars and policies to the American people during World War II, but that the price for his success was extraordinarily high and contributed to the abuses of presidential power that followed during the Cold War. FDR displayed a continuing apprehension, throughout 1941, of losing public backing and then being hamstrung by a resurgence of isolationism. Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt paid close attention to the new public opinion polls that had begun to appear during the interwar years. He was a master at influencing those polls and public opinion in general. Roosevelt was intensely concerned not simply with “selling war” to the American people from 1939 to 1945 but also with selling particular kinds of war at different times.

Keywords:   Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Cold War, isolationism, public opinion

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