Hero and Also-Ran: The Life of Thomas E. Dewey Online
As a young prosecutor in the 1930s, Thomas Dewey won national fame with his courtroom victories over several of New York’s most notorious gangsters. Later, he gained further recognition as a progressive three-term Republican governor of New York State. In addition, he played a significant role in the Republican Party’s nomination of Dwight Eisenhower for president in 1952. Yet today we remember Dewey mainly because of his two failed campaigns for the presidency -- against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 and against Harry Truman in 1948. In this lecture, Sandra Opdycke will seek to put those losses in context, exploring how they fit into the broader story of Thomas Dewey’s life.
Sandra Opdycke, Ph.D. is a historian. She recently published When Women Won the Vote, about the woman suffrage movement. She has also written books about the flu epidemic of 1918, the WPA of the 1930s, and Bellevue Hospital, as well as a biography of Jane Addams, an historical atlas of American women’s history, and several co-authored books and articles on social policy. She worked for a number of years at Hudson River Psychiatric Center, and later taught American History and Urban History at Bard, Vassar, and Marist Colleges. She serves as an occasional lecturer at the Center for Lifetime Studies in Poughkeepsie.