FDR and the New Deal for Beginners

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FDR and The New Deal For Beginners will shed new light upon a story now regaining visibility thanks to the recent economic crisis and prominent reformer, President Obama, in the White House, in a profusely illustrated, popularly-written volume with original comic art.
 
The history of the precedent-making FDR administration through the bitter economic depression, with expansive programs empowering artists and working people, comes ...

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FDR and the New Deal For Beginners

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Overview

FDR and The New Deal For Beginners will shed new light upon a story now regaining visibility thanks to the recent economic crisis and prominent reformer, President Obama, in the White House, in a profusely illustrated, popularly-written volume with original comic art.
 
The history of the precedent-making FDR administration through the bitter economic depression, with expansive programs empowering artists and working people, comes alive as the grandest social experiment in the history of American democracy. For the first time, the lives of the president, the first lady and the ordinary people of the time will be seen through an inventive comic narrative accompanying historic illustrations and a sympathetic but not uncritical text.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The incredibly farsighted and productive presidential career of Roosevelt is handled in smart, dramatic fashion in this long-overdue addition to Steerforth's impressive "For Beginners" line of introductions to concepts, thinkers, and historical events. Buhle (The Beats) gives a clean overview of FDR's early years before heading into the meat of his story about America's most populist president. Dividing Buhler's text chapter are graphic renditions of many of the events by Jones (The Real Cost of Prisons), whose dramatic, woodcut-inspired art recalls political broadsides of the early 20th century. While avoiding lecturing, Buhle and Jones proudly speak from the left of the spectrum, a tricky balancing act. An introductory note states that the writer and artist were moved to create this book by the 2008 election of President Obama, which "created a popular, democratic and egalitarian excitement that, even now, after a considerable letdown, has hardly faded in memory." Buhle and Jones do such a good job of illustrating FDR's staggering legacy, however, that shutting the book and returning to 2010 comes as a considerable letdown.
From the Publisher
"The incredibly farsighted and productive presidential career of Roosevelt is handled in smart, dramatic fashion in this long-overdue addition to Steerforth's impressive "For Beginners" line of introductions to concepts, thinkers, and historical events. Buhle (The Beats) gives a clean overview of FDR's early years before heading into the meat of his story about America's most populist president. Dividing Buhler's text chapter are graphic renditions of many of the events by Jones (The Real Cost of Prisons), whose dramatic, woodcut-inspired art recalls political broadsides of the early 20th century. While avoiding lecturing, Buhle and Jones proudly speak from the left of the spectrum, a tricky balancing act. An introductory note states that the writer and artist were moved to create this book by the 2008 election of President Obama, which "created a popular, democratic and egalitarian excitement that, even now, after a considerable letdown, has hardly faded in memory." Buhle and Jones do such a good job of illustrating FDR's staggering legacy, however, that shutting the book and returning to 2010 comes as a considerable letdown."
Publishers Weekly


"FDR and The New Deal For Beginners is  an important experiment in comics as history, also a study of the grand reform era that readers need for today's and tomorrow's hopes. Get this book!"
 
-Robert W. McChesney, co-author, The Death and Life of American Journalism
 
"This is a terrific narrative that will teach new generations about the hardships Americans faced during one of the most trying eras in their history and the social movements and president who struggled to help them. The team of Buhle, Pekar, and Jones illustrate the benefits of having a president who, whatever his limits, truly cared about the welfare of working people. In elegant prose and dramatic pictures, they do more than make the past come alive; they make sense of it."
 
-Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero:The Life of William Jennings Bryan and professor of history, Georgetown University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934389508
  • Publisher: For Beginners
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Series: For Beginners
  • Pages: 146
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Buhle recently retired as a Senior Lecturer at Brown University and winner of a 2010 Eisner Award, has written or edited forty-two books including a series of nonfiction comic art volumes in collaboration with Harvey Pekar (The Beats and Students For A Democratic Society); adaptations of works by Howard Zinn (A People's History of American Empire) and Studs Terkel (Studs Terkel’s Working); and an authorized biography on Mad Magazine founder Harvey Kurtzman (The Art of Harvey Kurtzman). He has also written on a wide range of subjects in The Nation, Village Voice, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Guardian (UK). He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
 
Sabrina Jones wrote and illustrated Isadora Duncan, A Graphic Biography. She is a longtime editor and contributor to the political comic book World War 3 Illustrated. She has created nonfiction comics for Wobblies! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World; Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation; and Mixed Signals, a counter-recruitment tool in comic book form. She lives in Brooklyn and paints scenery for Saturday Night Live.

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Table of Contents

Introduction VII

These Unhappy Times VIII

Introductory Note XI

Chapter 1 1

Before He Was President 2

A Lonely Member of the Gentry 11

The Hudson Valley Boy

The Family, The Law and the Democrats

Another MR. Roosevelt Goes to Washington

Living with Disability

Social Headaches in the Aspirin Age

Governor Roosevelt

The Crash of 1929 24

Wall Street Crash, American Crisis

Happy Days 29

FDR The Presidential Candidate

Victory!

...And Hoover Leaves a Mess Behind

Chapter 2 37

Crisis 38

Meeting the Crisis With a New Deal 41

A Nation Wants Self-Confidence Back

Good Times? Beer and Bread, at Least

Roosevelt's Tree Army 46

Roosevelt the Lonely Leader

Public Energy #1: Eleanor Roosevelt

Problems and Divisions

Americans Get Radical

Farm Holidays and General Strikes

The President and his Enemies

Europe in Crisis

The Ghost of the Monroe Doctrine

European Debts

Chapter 3 65

Pressure from the Left 66

Turning Point 69

Opposition to the New Deal-From the Grass Roots of America's Country Clubs

Populism, The Real (King Fish) Thing

Labor's Giant Step

The Peculiarity of American Reform

Henry Wallace, the Farmers' Man

The Popular Front Against Fascism

Antiwar Moods

The Eleanor Factor, Continued

A New Deal for Indians

The New Public Culture

Monuments of the New Deal

The Face of American Racism: J. Edgar Hoover

Chapter 4 89

WPA 90

New Deal at the Highwater Mark 93

The Real (New) Deal

Court Packing

Labor Consolidates Strengths

The "Roosevelt Recession"

At the Feet of Lincoin 100

Race and the South

Relief and the Public Vision

Health Care

New Deal Failures

The Approach of War

The Approach of the 1940 Election

Chapter 5 115

Doctor Win the War 116

The War and the President

The War and the Soviets

Race and the War

The New Deal Completed?

The Arsenal of Democracy

FDR, Churchill, Stalin

Yalta

Shadows of the Cold War

Henry Wallace, Soul of the New Deal

Harry Truman and the Party Bosses

Last Days at Warm Springs 134

Lost Hopes

Afterword 139

FDR As Seen from 2010 140

Harvey Pekar on FDR's New Deal 142

Bibliography 144

Acknowledgements 145

About the Author and Illustrator 146

The For Beginners Series 147

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