The Fight for the Four Freedoms

What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great

The Fight for the Four Freedoms

The fascinating story of Franklin Roosevelt, the Greatest Generation, and the freedoms they won, is a “stirring, heady dose of American history by a…progressive thinker” (Kirkus Reviews).

On January 6, 1941, the Greatest Generation gave voice to its founding principles, the Four Freedoms: Freedom from want and from fear. Freedom of speech and religion. In the name of the Four Freedoms they fought the Great Depression. In the name of the Four Freedoms they defeated the Axis powers. In the process they made the United States the richest and most powerful country on Earth. And, despite a powerful, reactionary opposition, the men and women of the Greatest Generation made America freer, more equal, and more democratic than ever before.

Harvey Kaye gives passionate voice to the Greatest Generation and argues not only that the root of their “greatness” stemmed from their commitment to equality, change, and progressive politics, but why modern generations should follow their lead. In Kaye’s hands, history becomes a call for action. Now he retells this generation’s full story and reclaims their progressive influence throughout the twentieth century.

Through the words of civil rights protestors, authors, and congressmen, Kaye argues that the most progressive generation in America history not only stopped Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, but made America and the world freer, more equal, and more democratic—and that modern generations only honor them by following their lead. The Fight for the Four Freedoms “will stir its intended audience, while illustrating what astute politicians and historians recognize: Political struggle is as much a battle over our past as it is over our present and future” (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451691443 | 
  • April 2015
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About the Author

Harvey J. Kaye
Photograph © Sean Sime

Harvey J. Kaye

Harvey J. Kaye is the Ben & Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, an award-winning author of numerous books, including Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and The Daily Beast, and a repeat guest on radio and television programs such as To the Best of Our Knowledge, the Thom Hartmann Show, and Bill Moyers' Journal.

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