David B. Woolner
Professor of History
David B. Woolner is Senior Fellow and Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute, Professor of History at Marist College, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College. He is the author of The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace (Basic Books, 2017), and is editor/co-editor of five books, including Progressivism in America: Past Present and Future (Oxford University Press 2016), FDR’s World: War, Peace and Legacies (Palgrave, 2008), and FDR the Vatican, and the Roman Catholic Church in America (Palgrave, 2003).
A frequent commentator on the links between the past and the present, his media appearances include interviews with CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, the History Channel, NPR, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His reviews and op-ed pieces have appeared in The Nation.com, Huffington Post, Salon.com, The Irish Times; The Next New Deal; Truthout.org, Business Insider and other publications. He served as historical advisor to the Ken Burns film The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; the HBO/BBC production, Into the Storm: Churchill at War; and for numerous special exhibitions at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. He sits on the Editorial Board of the International History Review, is a member of the Advisory Group to the Churchill Archives Project, is the series editor for the Palgrave Macmillan series, “The World of the Roosevelts,” and has served as a faculty member of the Bard Prison Initiative since 2011.
PhD, International History, McGill University, 1997
MA, History, McGill University, 1990
BA, summa cum laude, English Literature and History, University of Minnesota
Research Interests / Areas of Focus
The presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt; twentieth century Anglo-American relations; US-Canadian relations; American foreign policy, the history of the Second World War.
FDR: The Last 100 Days, published by Basic Books, New York, December 2017
Editor, Progressivism in America: Past, Present and Future, with John M. Thompson, Oxford University Press, January 2016
Editor, FDR’s World: War Peace and Legacies, with Warren Kimball and David Reynolds, Palgrave Macmillan, November 2008.
Editor, FDR and the Environment, with Henry Henderson, published as part of the Palgrave Series, The World of the Roosevelts, General Editors: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Douglas Brinkley, Palgrave, January 2005.
Editor, FDR, the Vatican, and the Roman Catholic Church in America, 1933-1945, published as part of the Palgrave Series, The World of the Roosevelts, General Editors: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Douglas Brinkley, Palgrave, New York, August 2003.
Editor, The Second Quebec Conference Revisited: Waging War Formulating Peace; Canada, Great Britain and the United States in 1944-45, Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press, October 1998.
Select Articles, Book Chapters
“Forging Alliances: The United Nations and the Grand Alliance,” an 8,000-word chapter in The Oxford Handbook on World War II, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019.
“FDR and the Creation of the Postwar International Order” in American Mosaic: Festschrift in Honor of Cornelis A. Van Minnen, edited by William E. Leuchtenburg (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2017).
“Churchill and the Birth of the Anglo-American ‘Special Relationship,’” in Winston Churchill: Politics, Strategy and Statecraft, edited by Richard Toye (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), 153-170.
“The Man Who Wasn’t There: Cordell Hull, Bretton Woods, and the Creation of GATT,” in Global Perspectives of the Bretton Woods Conference and the Postwar World Order, Giles Scott-Smith and J. Simon Role, Editors (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
“The Four Freedoms and Global Security: A Legacy for Today and Tomorrow,” marking the 75th anniversary of FDR’s Four Freedoms Address, in Zeeuws Tijdschrift, the Netherlands, 2016.
“Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Progressive Tradition,” Co-authored with Alan Brinkley in Progressive Politics in America: Past, Present and Future, Oxford University Press, January 2016.
“Progressivism Past and Present: FDR, Obama and the Search for a New, New Deal,” in Progressivmus in den USA, (Wissenscaftlicher Verlag Trier, January 2015).
“An American Perspective on Cold War Origins,” in Out of the Cold: The Cold War and its Legacy, ed. by Michael R. Fitzgerald and Allen Packwood, Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2013.
Churchill and Roosevelt: The Birth of the Anglo-American “Special Relationship” for the Churchill Archive Online (at http://www.churchillarchive.com), published by Bloomsbury Academic 2012.
“Canada, Mackenzie King and the St. Pierre and Miquelon Crisis of 1941,” published in the London Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 24, February 2010.
“Epilogue: Reflections on Legacy and Leadership—The View from 2008,” in FDR’s World: War Peace and Legacies, Palgrave Macmillan, November 2008.
Article on the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the legacy of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, for the Churchill Review, the newsletter for Churchill College and the Churchill College Archives Fall 2003.
“Coming to Grips with the ‘German Problem’: Roosevelt, Churchill and the Morgenthau Plan at the Second Quebec Conference,’ in The Second Quebec Conference Revisited, ed. by David B. Woolner, The FERI Series on Diplomatic and Economic History, St. Martin’s Press, New York, October 1998.
“Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship that Shaped the Sixties,” by Kevin M. Schultz, published in The Irish Times, January 9, 2016.
“Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist review: new look at ‘amoral realist,’” published in The Irish Times, October 3, 2015.
“America’s Pastor review: when Billy Graham talked the talk,” a review of America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation, by Grant Wacker, published in The Irish Times, Saturday, May 23, 2015.
“Why the ‘war to end all wars’ lingers on: The Long Shadow – The Great War and the Twentieth Century,” a review of The Long Shadow, by David Reynolds, published in The Irish Times, Saturday June 28, 2014.
“Russia, Crimea and the Wisdom of a Cold War Strategist,” a review of The Kennan Diaries, edited by Frank Costigliola, published in The Irish Times, Saturday, May 17, 2014.
“Into the bear pit: the fate of Theodore Roosevelt’s muckraking friends,” a review of The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, published in The Irish Times, February 1, 2014.
FDR and the Jews, by Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman, the Journal of American History, Summer, 2014
American Grand Strategy in the Mediterranean during World War II, by Andrew Buchanan, forthcoming in H-Diplo, HNET: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, summer 2015.
Class and Power in the New Deal: Corporate Moderates; Southern Democrats and the Liberal-Labor Coalition, by G. William Domhoff and Michael J. Webber, International History Review, Spring 2014.
Refugees and Rescue: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald, 1933-1945, edited by Richard Breitman, Barbara McDonald Stewart, and Severin Hochberg, Hudson River Valley Review, Fall 2009.
“Transition of Power: Britain’s Loss of Global Pre-eminence to the United States,” by B.J.C. McKercher, Albion, Summer 2000.
Historical Consultant for Ken Burns/Florentine Films documentary: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, to air on PBS, Fall 2014.
Historical Consultant for BBC Documentary, World War II: 1945 and the Wheelchair President, written and Narrated by David Reynolds, to air on the BBC May 2015.
One of two principal writers for the fdr4freedoms Digital Resource, the online educational resource covering the New Deal and World War II for the FDR Four Freedoms Park, January-December 2013.
Historical Consultant/on air commentator for History Channel production 24 Hours After: FDR and Pearl Harbor to be aired on the History Channel December 7, 2011.
Historical Consultant for the HBO/BBC film, “Into the Storm: Churchill at War” produced by Frank Doelger and written by Hugh Whitemore, aired on HBO and the BBC, May 2009.
Script Advisor for the HBO Film, “Roosevelt at Warm Springs,” starring Kenneth Branagh as FDR, aired in April 2005 on HBO.
Principle Writer/Creative Consultant for a permanent exhibit on U.S.- Canadian relations entitled, “A Legacy of Friendship,” housed in the Edmund Muskie Visitors Center, Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, June 2004.
Historical/Program Consultant to the Lincoln Presidential Libraries Project, Springfield Illinois, Spring 2002.
Historic and Diplomatic consultant to Home Box Office in association with the D-Day anniversary release of the HBO mini-series, “Band of Brothers,” produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, June 6, 2001, Normandy France.
“America First or America Alone? FDR’s Last 100 Days and the National Security Policy of Donald J. Trump,” the Louisville Committee on Foreign Relations, Louisville Kentucky, March 7, 2018.
“Roosevelt and the Russians: The Legacy of the Last 100 Days,” The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis Minnesota, February 23, 2018.
“FDR, Donald Trump and the Failed Legacy of Barak Obama,” Trump’s America Conference, the Clinton Institute of American Studies, University College Dublin, May 2017.
“FDR and Donald Trump: A Tale of Two Populists,” the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Feb. 2, 2017.
“Donald Trump and the Future of FDR’s World,” Reflection and Projection: The New Administration and Grand Strategy, Richmond University, London, Jan. 2017.
“’The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself:’ FDR, Donald Trump, and the Future of American Progressivism,” the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Dec. 2016.
“How did we Get Here? An Analysis of the Election of President Donald J. Trump,” Northumbria University, Newcastle, U.K., Dec. 2016.
“America at a Crossroads? The Progressive Tradition and the Election of 2016,” Heidelberg Center for American Studies, Heidelberg, Germany, April 18, 2016.
“The Four Freedoms and Global Security: A Legacy for Today and Tomorrow,” Burgerzaal, Town Hall Middelburg, Netherlands, January 25, 2015.
“Towards the Marshall Plan: World War II and the Reconstruction of Europe,” Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Yale University, November 12, 2015.
“FDR and the Creation of the Postwar International Order,” paper delivered to the conference, The Second World War in the History of Humanity, 1939-1945, Moscow State University, September 15-17, 2015.
“FDR, Stalin, and the Grand Alliance in Context,” paper delivered to the annual Transatlantic Studies Conference, Middelburg, The Netherlands, July 10, 2015.
“Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” presented at “Freedom’s Documents,” an educational workshop for high school teachers organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 23, 2015.
“Franklin Roosevelt, the Azores and the Construction of a Sustainable World” keynote address to the Fourth Franklin D. Roosevelt Azorean Forum, Pico Island, Azores, April 8-9, 2015.
“The Man who wasn’t there: Cordell Hull, Bretton Woods and the Creation of GATT,” presented at the conference, The U.N. and the Post-War World Order: Bretton Woods in Perspective, Roosevelt Study Center, September 17-18, 2014.
‘FDR, the Grand Alliance and the Creation of the United Nations’ presented to the annual Transatlantic Studies Association Conference, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, July 7-10, 2014.
“What the U.S. Media is not telling us about the Crisis in Ukraine,” a public lecture delivered to the Hudson Valley World Affairs Council, June 4, 2014; and Vassar Temple, October 7, 2014.
“The Idea of Progressivism in Domestic and Foreign Policy in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” presented at the Spring Seminar in American History, Moscow State University, April 22, 2014.
Panelist for Intervention—An American Dilemma, with authors Lynne Olson and David Nasaw moderated by former producer of the PBS News Hour, Lester M. Crystal, at the President’s Forum, Westchester Community College, November 24, 2013.
“FDR and the Creation of the Post-war World,” presented at Progressivism in America: Past Present and Future, a conference sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Clinton Institute for American Studies, at University College, Dublin, Ireland, November 8-9, 2013.
“Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Economic Bill of Rights: A Lesson for Today?” presented at the Columbia University Seminar on Full Employment, Columbia University Faculty House, Oct. 18, 2013.
“America on the Brink of Collapse: FDR and the Launch of the New Deal,” presented at the symposium: 1933—A Transformative Year in American and World History, the Henry A. Wallace Center September 18, 2013.
Principal organizer, Progressivism in America: Past Present and Future, a conference sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College, Dublin, Ireland, November 8-9, 2013.
Principal organizer for the symposium, 1933— A Transformative Year in American and World History, the Henry A. Wallace Center September 18, 2013.
“The Private Diplomacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” paper presented at the conference, Reframing Diplomacy: New Diplomatic History in the Benelux and Beyond, Sept. 6-7, 2013, Leiden University.
“The Great Recession and the Great Depression: What FDR’s Leadership Means for America Today,” paper given at the Spring Symposium in American History at Moscow State University, March 27, 2013.
“Searching for Parallels: FDR, Obama, and American Foreign Policy in a Troubled World,” lecture presented to the 22nd Annual Diplomatic Studies Roundtable, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston MA, November 16, 2012.
“Why the Election of Barack Obama will not usher in a new, New Deal,” paper presented to the Symposium on the 2012 American Elections at the Institut für Politkwissenschaft of the University of Zurich, Zurich Switzerland, October 25, 2012.
“Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Reluctant Keynesian?” paper presented to the annual Transatlantic Studies Association Conference, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, July 9-12, 2012.
“Henry Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt and the Relevance of the New Deal for the 21st Century,” public lecture delivered to the Culver Center for Public Policy, Simpson College, Des Moines Iowa, March 14, 2012.
“Cordell Hull, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Anglo-American Response to the Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1941,” presented to the annual meeting of the Transatlantic Studies Association, University of Dundee, Scotland, July 12, 2011.
“Heroes or Villains? FDR, Pope Pius XII and the Evolution of Public Thought in Response to the Holocaust” paper presented to the conference, American Responses to the Holocaust: Transatlantic Perspectives, sponsored by the Roosevelt Study Center, the Netherlands-American Studies Association, and the Institute of Jewish Studies University of Antwerp, Middelburg, NL, and Antwerp, Belgium, June 15-17, 2011.
“Franklin D. Roosevelt; Catalyst for the Creation of the Post-war World,” keynote address to the conference: Succeeding in Emerging and Developing Markets: Understanding How Institutions Impact Firms and Managers, George Washington University Center for Business education and Research, June 7, 2011.
“Progressivism Past and Present: FDR, Obama and the Search for a New, New Deal,” keynote address to the Annual Conference of Political Scientists in the German Association for American Studies, for the conference, Always on the Defensive? Progressive Movement and Progressive Policies in the US, Lambrecht, Germany, November 12-13, 2011.
“Cordell Hull, Anthony Eden and the Search for Anglo-American Cooperation: 1933-1938,” Andrew Melon Lecture in American History, delivered to the American History Seminar, Cambridge University, November 8, 2011.
“A New Deal for the 21st Century? Comparing the Legislative Initiatives of Barack Obama and Franklin D. Roosevelt,” the Interdisciplinary Colloquium of American Studies, Heidelburg Center for American studies, Heidelberg Germany, October 14, 2010.
“Determining the Postwar Legacy of Franklin Roosevelt,” presented at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, British International History Group (BIHG) Conference, September 11, 2010.
“Re-assessing the Eden-Hull Relationship in Depression and War,” presented at the annual Transatlantic Studies Conference, Durham University, July 12-15, 2010.
“Cordell Hull and the Creation of the North Atlantic Triangle, 1933-1938,” paper presented to the British Association of Canadian Studies, Conference, The North Atlantic Triangle – a Canadian Myth?, Senate House, London, July 16,2010.
Panelist for “The Origins of the Cold War from Yalta to Korea,” at the conference, The Cold War and its Legacy, the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.
“Mackenzie King and the St. Pierre and Miquelon Crisis,” British-Canadian Studies Association, Canada House, London, July 17, 2009.
“Embracing Internationalism: Reflections on the Postwar Legacy of Franklin Roosevelt,” presented to the annual Transatlantic Studies Conference, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, England, July 15, 2009.
“Reflections on FDR’s Foreign Policy,” presented at the conference Restoring America Through a New, New Deal: Policy Priorities for the First 100 Days, at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, November 15, 2008.
“Cordell Hull, the Trade Agreements Act, and the Postwar Economic Order,” paper present to the annual Society for the History of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Conference, Washington, D.C., June 23-24, 2005.
Invited Speaker/Panelist on Eleanor Roosevelt and Human Rights for the December 2004 Alliance for a New Humanity Annual Conference, organized by the Alliance for a New Humanity, with the cooperation of Kerry Kennedy, Oscar Arias, the Arias Foundation, and the Albert Schweitzer Institute, San Juan Puerto Rico, December 1-2, 2004.
“Crisis in the North Atlantic: The St. Pierre and Miquelon Affair of 1941,” delivered to the 1st annual North Atlantic Triangle Conference, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, England, October 23-24, 2004.
“FDR: A President for the Ages?” public address delivered as part of the University of Prince Edward Island Distinguished Lecture Series, August 18, 2004, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
“Reflections on Cordell Hull and the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act,” presented at “The Role of the WTO System in the World Economy,” sponsored by Cornell University Law School, the Cordell Hull Institute, and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris, France, July 8-10, 2004.
“Between Appeasement and Provocation: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and U.S.-Japanese Relations, 1938-1941,” paper delivered to the fifteenth annual British International History Group Conference, University of Nottingham, September 2003.
“The Special Relationship before the Special Relationship,” paper to be delivered at the Transatlantic Studies Conference, University of Dundee, July 8-11, 2002.
Co-author of the banking/small-business enterprise component of a Diplomatic Protocol on Banking Reform in Russia, prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury and presented to Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin at the May 2002, Summit Meeting in Moscow.
“FDR, the Press, and Propaganda,” address delivered at the opening of the “Propaganda and Dreams” Exhibit at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, June 2000.
‘Leadership and Compassion: The Spirit and Legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt,’ delivered to the 7th International Conference on Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities, Yonsei University, Seoul South Korea, 1999.
“Special Observer” to the 1998 Holocaust-Era Assets Conference, an official gathering of delegations from 44 countries to examine the distribution of property stolen in the Holocaust, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the United States Holocaust Museum, Dec. 1998.
Awards and Honors
Academic Director, “Grand Strategy in Context: Institutions, People, and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy,” a six-week intensive academic exchange program funded by the U.S. State Department and Bard College, involving 18 university-level scholars and educators from a host of countries around the world, held at the Wallace Center and other locations, Summer, 2016.
One of the principle writers/organizers of “Grand Strategy in Context: Institutions, People, and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy,” a six-week intensive academic exchange program funded by the U.S. State Department involving 18 university-level scholars and educators from a host of countries around the world, held at the Wallace Center and other locations, Summer 2013, 2014, 2015.
Mary Ball Washington Visiting Chair in American History, University College Dublin, Fall 2016-Spring 2017
Roosevelt Fellow, Visiting Professor of History, University College Roosevelt, Middelburg, the Netherlands, Spring Term, 2016.
Visiting Professor of History, MASS: Master’s Program in American Studies, University of Ghent, Spring 2016
Fulbright Research Chair, Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, The Netherlands, Fall 2010.
Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge for the Michaelmas Term, 2007, residence at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, from September 1-December 30, 2007.
Winner NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture Summer Workshops for High School Teachers Grant ($163,000), October 2007.
Winner NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture Summer Workshops for High School Teachers Grant ($143,000), October 2006.
Winner of a $65,000 Grant from the Cunneen Hackett Charitable Trust in support of Marist/FDRL/FERI Conference, “Recovering the Environmental Legacy of FDR,” to be held in October, 2002.
Principal author of a $150,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation to fund “Contemporary Russia and the New Deal,” a two-year project to explore the relevance of New Deal policies and programs in modern-day Russia, awarded May, 2001.
Awarded a $3,000 grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding to speak on “FDR, the Press, and Propaganda at the opening of the “Propaganda and Dreams Exhibit at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, June 2000.
Numerous Fall and Spring Travel Grants, and Summer research grants, awarded by the School of Liberal Arts, Marist College.
Certificate of Appreciation, in recognition of a special contribution to the Canada Remembers Program, 1994-1995, through the organization of the 1994 Second Quebec Conference, issued by M. Roméo LeBlanc, Governor General of Canada, May 1995.
Winner of “Accessing FDR’s America,” $215,000 National Science Foundation (NSF)/Information Technology Research (ITR) Grant in support of research to enhance current search and retrieval methods for humanities data, in collaboration with Nancy Ide, Chair of the Computer Science Department at Vassar College, awarded August 2002.