This oral history interview with Wesley Granberg-Michaelson was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Parkridge, Illinois, and in San Antonio, Texas, from October 18, 1988, to May 28, 1989. In this interview, Granberg-Michaelson discusses his family background and early life in the Chicago, Illinois, area, including his early education. He tells the story of meeting Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield at the 1960 Republican National Convention when he was a teenager. He speaks at length about his evangelical Christian faith, his involvement in the Young Life movement, and how both permeated his political views. He speaks about his experiences at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, including his views on the Vietnam War at that time. He then discusses his experience at the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, including some of the courses he took and how his view of the Vietnam War evolved.
Granberg-Michaelson talks about meeting Mark Hatfield at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1968, and how that led to an internship with Hatfield, who had become a U.S. senator. He describes his duties as an intern, his promotion to full-time staff a year later, and working with other members of Hatfield's staff. He discusses his role as foreign policy advisor, particularly regarding the Vietnam War; Hatfield's relationship with President Richard Nixon; and Hatfield's relationship with his fellow members of Congress. He speaks at length about Hatfield's efforts to end the Vietnam War, including the McGovern-Hatfield amendment of 1970. He also talks about Hatfield's re-election campaign in 1972; Hatfield's spirituality; and Hatfield's opposition to nuclear weapons and power. He discusses his reasons for leaving Hatfield's staff in 1976.
Granberg-Michaelson discusses his personal life during his time as a member of Hatfield's staff, Hatfield's relationship with the evangelical community, and how Hatfield balanced his ideals with the need to compromise. He discusses his international travels, his marriage to Karen Granberg, and the protests against the draft and the Vietnam War. He speaks about the differences in management style between Sam Mallicoat and Gerry Frank, Hatfield's stance on Israel and Palestine, and a real estate scandal that affected Hatfield's 1984 re-election campaign. He discusses Hatfield's legislative efforts toward decentralizing government. He closes the interview by talking about Hatfield's family and personal life, and his own recent activities.