Roosevelt was almost the only important world leader in the ’30s who was neither a dictator nor an appeaser of dictators. His New Deal eliminated almost half the unemployment he inherited in 1933, and an imaginative workfare program absorbed most of the rest. He concentrated all the popular anger of the Depression on unspecified “economic royalists,” saving American capitalism from the extremes of left and right that rent other countries. He preserved the moral integrality of the nation so that it could be focused on America’s real enemies, Germany and Japan. His aid to Britain in 1940 and 1941 and subsequent leadership in history’s greatest and most just war were courageous and indispensable. Without Roosevelt, Germany, Japan, France and Italy would not have evolved from hostile dictatorships to flourishing democratic allies. He engaged the U.S. durably in Europe and East Asia, the essential condition for general peace and prosperity in the second half of this century. Roosevelt led America from the depths of Depression to economic recovery, universal prestige and the brink of victory over every foreign and domestic enemy.
Conrad M. Black, Chairman and CEO, Hollinger International Inc., NEW YORK CITY