Library of Congress

National Book Festival

Before turning to the writing of history books, Richard Moe led a distinguished career in government, law and historic preservation. Moe served as chief of staff to Vice President Walter Mondale and he was a member of President Carter’s senior staff. While a partner at a law firm, he also served as president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Moe’s extensive career in public service equipped him with a key understanding of presidential life and politics. In “Roosevelt’s Second Act: The Election of 1940 and the Politics of War” (Oxford University Press), the winner of the 2013 PROSE Award in U.S. History takes a close look at the 1940 election and focuses on FDR’s decision to seek a third term in office. Moe’s detailed account of FDR’s multifaceted demeanor emphasizes that his decision to seek reelection was far from inevitable. By investigating this pivotal point in American history, when FDR had to balance legitimizing the New Deal and mobilizing the nation for war, Moe captures an important, often overlooked, understanding of his presidency.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Richard Moe

Photo by National Trust for Historic Preservation