four freedoms

Thursday, November 7, 2013

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall

Featured Speakers
Drs. Frank Costigliola (UConn), Linda Eads (SMU), Jeffrey Engel (SMU), Matthew Jones (Nottingham), William Hitchcock (Virginia), and Tisa Wenger (Yale)

Lecture Series

researchThis event was developed into the publication, “The Four Freedoms: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Evolution of an American Idea.” It was released on November 23, 2015 through Oxford University Press. Click here for more information and to purchase the book.

This recording is the property of the SMU Center for Presidential History and may only be used for research and teaching purposes. It cannot be copied or reproduced for profit. © 2013

An exploration of the diplomatic and human-rights legacy of FDR’s famous 1941 State of the Union address.

The specter of global war loomed large in President Franklin Roosevelt’s mind as 1941 began.  He believed the United States had a role to play in the battle against Nazi and fascist aggression already underway in Europe.  Isolationists, political opponents, and arguably the majority of Americans disagreed.  The wounds of the First World War had not yet fully healed, while the Great Depression largely still raged.

Roosevelt framed America’s role in the conflict, and ultimately its role in forging the post-war world to come, as a question of freedom.  Four freedoms, to be exact: freedom of speech, freedom from want, freedom of religion and freedom from fear.

His words inspired, but more importantly his four freedoms formed the basis for how ensuing generations of Americans conceive of liberty for themselves and for the world.

The Four Freedoms: FDR’s Legacy of Liberty explores this moment of history, and the evolution of each of the four freedoms from those dark days of 1940 to our present day.


  • Professor Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut
  • Professor Linda Eads, Southern Methodist University
  • Professor Jeffrey A. Engel, Southern Methodist University
  • Professor William Hitchcock, University of Virginia
  • Professor Matthew Jones, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Tisa J. Wenger, Yale University