FDR signs documents

"To the Best of My Ability"

Season 3: FDR and the Road to Pearl Harbor

Season 3 Overview

As the international situation deteriorates, FDR faces multiple challenges: readying the country for war across two oceans, facing down the threats from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and attempting to rally political support at home. Americans are not convinced of the foreign threat. Many are still isolationists, seeking to let the world solve its own problems while America stands aloof. Public opinion seems to be changing, but it's a gradual process. 
Will FDR be able to master these multiple crises? Will the American people rally behind him? Will the nation prepare in time to face one of the gravest threats in its history—or will all of FDR's efforts be too late? Join The National WWII Museum for Season 3 of this limited series podcast as we explore America's road to Pearl Harbor as seen through the eyes of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

"To the Best of My Ability" is available on all major platforms.

View an archive of "To the Best of My Ability" season two here.

View an archive of "To the Best of My Ability" season one here.

Join The National WWII Museum for Season 3 of this limited series podcast as we explore America's road to Pearl Harbor as seen through the eyes of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.



Catch up on the entire first and second seasons, including episodes, behind-the-scenes info, and more.

Season 2 Season 1


Subscribe now via Apple Podcasts, Spotify.

  • Episode 1 – An Epidemic of World Lawlessness

    In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt inherits a nation amidst The Great Depression, but around the world, fascist powers gain footholds. FDR begins to shape foreign policy through a series of addresses that connect the American people to the president in an unprecedented way, threading the needle between readying the nation for war and appeasing isolationists.

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  • Episode 2 – A Day of Infamy

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt wins his third term bid for president, but a foreign crisis brews in the pacific. Contending with an isolationist movement in America, he maneuvers policy and naval fleets in preparation for war. All the while, convincing the US public the importance of becoming the “arsenal of democracy.”

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Featured Historians


Stephanie Hinnershitz, PhD

Stephanie Hinnershitz received her PhD from the University of Maryland in 2013 and has held various teaching positions before coming to The National WWII Museum. She has published three books and multiple articles on topics related to Asian American history and the Home Front during World War II.

Dr. Jeremi Suri

Dr. Jeremi Suri is the Mack Brown Distinguished Professor for Global Leadership, History, and Public Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor at the University’s Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Dr. Suri is the author and editor of ten books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, most recently Modern Diplomacy in Practice. His other books include The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office, Henry Kissinger and the American Century, Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama, and Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (with Robert Hutchings).

Contributing Producer

Rob Citino, PhD

Robert Citino, PhD, is the Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian in the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy. Dr. Citino is an award-winning military historian and scholar who has published ten books including The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943, Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942, and The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich, as well as numerous articles covering World War II and twentieth-century military history. He speaks widely and contributes regularly to general readership magazines such as World War II. Dr. Citino enjoys close ties with the US military establishment and taught one year at the US Military Academy at West Point and two years at the US Army War College.



"To the Best of My Ability" is made possible by The Nierenberg Family.