The New Deal and the Triumph of Liberalism

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For scholars who have studied it, as for many Americans who experienced it firsthand, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal has long represented a turning point in the modern history of the United States. More than simply a bold program of political change, it marked a critical departure in the governing principles, institutional arrangements, and policies that shape American life.

In this collection of original essays, a distinguished group of political scientists and historians reevaluate the legacy of the New Deal, showing how Roosevelt and his allies forged an enduring public philosophy — modern liberalism — that redefined the relationship of government and governed. Adapting broad principles from the past to the unprecedented circumstances of a worldwide depression, the New Dealers shifted American politics away from its traditional emphasis on self-reliance, private property, and decentralized power. In its place they advocated a new "economic constitutional order" — in effect, a new social contract — in which the government guaranteed protection to individuals against the uncertainties of the marketplace.

Although the contributors differ in their assessment of the successes and failures of New Deal liberalism, all agree that its implications for American political life were profound and far-reaching-in the realm of foreign as well as domestic affairs, for the theory as well as the practice of government. Taken together, the essays offer a fresh look at the many ways the New Deal, in Harry Hopkins's phrase, "made America over." In addition to the editors, contributors are William E. Leuchtenburg, Marc Landy, Nelson Lichtenstein, Donald R. Brand, Jyette Klausen, Suzanne Mettler, Ronald Story, Seyom Brown, and Morton Keller.

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Editorial Reviews

William Crotty
This collection is multidisciplinary in approach and includes political scientists of national reputation and historians,among whom are arguably the most prominent scholars writing on the New Deal. The book is also well edited. I do not know of any volume quite like this one with the quality of contributing authors,scope of concerns,and points for discussion. It is exceptionally well done and both thoughtful and thought provoking.
The New Deal package of programs during the 1930s was not just a historical episode, argue political scientists and historians, but a critical one that left a lasting legacy for American politics and government, and for many was the defining moment in the 20th century. They do however, put it in context between the Progressive Era of the early century and the Great Society of the 1960s. The 12 essays are from a 1998 conference at Brandeis University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558493216
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2002
  • Series: Political Development of the American NA
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Deal, Then and Now 1
The New Deal at the End of the Twentieth Century 23
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Economic Constitutional Order, and the New Politics of Presidential Leadership 31
Presidential Party Leadership and Party Realignment: FDR and the Making of the New Deal Democratic Party 73
The "Boss": Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party, and the Reconstitution of American Politics 86
Politicized Unions and the New Deal Model: Labor, Business, and Taft-Hartley 135
Competition and the New Deal Regulatory State 166
Did World War II End the New Deal? A Comparative Perspective on Postwar Planning Initiatives 193
Social Citizens of Separate Sovereignties: Governance in the New Deal Welfare State 231
The New Deal and Higher Education 272
Idealism, Realpolitik, or Domestic Politics: A Clinton-Era Retrospective on FDR's Foreign Policies 297
The New Deal and Progressivism: A Fresh Look 313
Contributors 323
Index 327
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