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June 18 - June 24

Kenyon Summer Seminar

Roosevelt, Churchill and Hitler: Three Wartime Leaders and Their Legacy

Instructor: Stephen Knott, Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College


Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler—some 80 years after their rise to power, these men, for better or worse, continue to influence the world in which we live. Historian and author Stephen Knott will draw on key biographies and readings to explore the contrasting paths to power and the differing principles and practices of these three key figures from World War II. FDR was the architect of the postwar United Nations and was the founding father of the modern American welfare and regulatory state. Churchill serves as a powerful symbol of the need for vigilance and preparedness in resistance to despotism, and along with FDR and Joseph Stalin drew the map of the postwar world that we live in today. Hitler serves as a reminder of the unfortunate appeal of demagoguery rooted in racial hatred, which continues to cast a disturbing shadow over much of the world.

Download the syllabus for this course.