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The New Deal: A Modern History

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Outstanding History and Writing! The Modern Benchmark Study of the New Deal

    This book was a good read -- very informative and enjoyable. I thought the author was very fair and balanced, thoroughy researched the material, and was a great storyteller. The book centers on the Great Depression and the leaders in FDR's administration and throughout the nation to deal with trauma of the New Deal. They enacted reforms for long-term financial stability and an economic safety net. The book details the successes and failures. The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business writer, and the book seems slightly negative at times but is overall very balanced. Social Security is the most famous New Deal safety net program, and the SEC is the most famous New Deal regulatory agency. The Fair Labor Standards Act is another New Deal reform that still affects all of us. The book mentions the thousands of New Deal infratructure projects (dams, airports, schools, roads, tunnels, aqueducts, canals, parks, etc) the New Deal built to build the economy, thousands of which are still with us today. I learned much about how the New Deal came about, the various programs, the successes, the failures, and America during the Great Depression. The book seems very scholarly and yet was easy to read. The New Deal reforms seemed to keep the economy stable and prosperous for many decades until some of the New Deal regulations were repealed in the decade before the economic collapse of 2007-2008. Also read the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War" by David Kennedy, "Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal" by William Leuchtenburg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Lords of Finance" by Liaquat Ahamed, and "Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941" by Michael Parish.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The New Deal

    You may think of Franklin Roosevelt as a sepia-toned hero who smoothly guided the United States out of the Depression. As this captivating history makes clear, that is partly true – but not entirely. Roosevelt was a hero in some ways, but his path was decidedly messy. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik guides readers through the fits and starts of “New Deal” policies. It turns out that New Deal program ideas could spring from anywhere, whether Roosevelt’s avid imagination or the writings of an obscure economist. A few New Deal programs were miserable failures. And while FDR’s landslide victories paint a distant, historic picture of an overwhelmingly popular president, Hiltzik points out that Roosevelt had to overcome plenty of opposition to enact his policies. getAbstract recommends this revealing history to readers seeking a fresh look at a seminal chapter – and a seminal man – in American politics and economics.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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