The Department of Government
The Department of Government

War without Deception: Democracy, Roosevelt, and American Entry into World War II

Tue, October 1, 2013 | SRH 3.122

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law welcomes you to an International Security Speakers Series event with Dr. Dan Reiter, Professor of Political Science at Emory University, titled: "War without Deception: Democracy, Roosevelt, and American Entry into World War II," on Tuesday, October 1 from 12:15pm-1:30pm in SRH 3.122.

Some have claimed that American presidents routinely circumvent the constraints of public opinion using deception. For these observers, one of the most salient episodes of deception occurred in 1941, when President Franklin Roosevelt employed deception to attempt to provoke war with Germany and Japan. Specifically, they claim that Roosevelt attempted secretly to engineer a provocative naval incident with Germany in the Atlantic, and that he knew but did not publicly recognize that the July 1941 oil sanctions against Japan would provoke a Japanese attack. However, the historical record indicates that neither of these claims are true, as the main elements of American policy towards Germany and Japan were both public and popular. The 1941 experience in turn is part of a larger pattern that Presidents and elected leaders avoid secrecy and deception more than is commonly recognized.

Dr. Dan Reiter is professor of political science at Emory University. He is the award-winning author of three books, Crucible of Beliefs: Learning, Alliances, and World Wars (Cornell, 1996), Democracies at War, with Allan C. Stam (Princeton, 2002), and How Wars End (Princeton, 2009), as well as dozens of scholarly articles. His research interests include American foreign policy, weapons of mass destruction, the causes and prosecution of war, and others.

Bookmark and Share

  •   Map
  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704