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Two of FDR's ambassorial appointments in the 1930s are interesting in this context. In those days, career foreign service men, independently wealthy, were typically appointed. In 1933, close on the heels of Hitler being elected Chancellor, none of RDR's initial choices were interested in being ambassador to Germany, or better put, to all but formally Nazi Germany. As outlined in Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts, FDR appoints an obscure Univ. of Chicago History Professor, William Doddwho accepts the job, believing that he'll have plenty of time to complete the book he's been working on. He takes his wife and two grown children with him. He is not wealthy, the State Department, in those days does not pay for or reimburse ambassadors for the expense of entertaining, expected of them. The reality of the unfolding horrors of the Nazi Regime become obvious almost immediately. Another appointment by FDR was truly strategic, that of John Gilbert Winant, former two-term and extremely popular governor of New Hampshire and, most recently, head of the new Social Security Administration, to succede Joe Kennedy as Ambassador to the Court of St. James/Britian. The year was 1939, Europe was on the brink of war and the US was still solidly isolationist and mired in the Depression. Both appointments were Republican, neither had any experience in politics or international affairs and were both of modest, but professional means.
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