March 8, 2013 Historic Dupont Circle Meetings of Young Progressives Subject of New Book

Author Discusses How Participants Worked to Change the Nation

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

In 1916, on the eve of U.S. entry into World War I, a dozen young men and women gathered in Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. They were ambitious for personal and social advancement, and what bound them together was a determination to remake America and the rest of the world in their progressive image.

In "On Dupont Circle: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Progressives Who Shaped Our World" (Counterpoint, 2012), author James Srodes offers a vivid portrait of these meetings.

Srodes will discuss and sign his book on Wednesday, March 27, at noon, in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Prize-winning author James Srodes details the goings-on at one residence – known as The House of Truth – where Felix Frankfurter, a future Supreme Court Justice, and Walter Lippman, later among the most important political writers of the 20th century, both lived. Another house served as the base for three siblings: John Foster Dulles, future secretary of state; Allen Dulles, one of the founders of the CIA; and sister Eleanor Lansing Dulles, one of the most important economists of the age.

Meanwhile, young Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt lived nearby. Even then they were rising political stars. Other denizens of the neighborhood were William Bullitt, a charming and unscrupulous writer and future ambassador, and Herbert Hoover, already the most famous American in the world.

The group mixed cocktails, foreign policy and relationships as they set out to remake the world. For the next 20 years, they pursued increasingly important careers as their private lives become ever-more entangled. By the end of this story, on the eve of World War II, the group came together again for a second chance at history, and this time the result was the United Nations.

James Srodes is a former Washington bureau chief for Forbes and Financial World magazines. He is author of several other books, including “Franklin: The Essential Founding Father” and “Allen Dulles: Master of Spies.”

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress ( has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading- promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

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PR 13-045
ISSN 0731-3527