Anthony Badger’s notably successful history is not simply another narrative of the New Deal, nor does the figure of Franklin Roosevelt loom as large in his account as in some others. What Mr. Badger does so well is to consider important aspects of New Deal activity agriculture, welfare, and politics, interpreting the history of each.
Masterfully done...it deserves high marks for its clear and lively prose, sound judgments, and penetrating insights.
Dan T. Carter
A superb one-volume synthesis of the Roosevelt years....Badger never loses sight of the critical elements of change and continuity that marked the decade.
Extraordinarily well researched, clearly written, and balanced.
An admirable, unique overview and analysis....This is the finest survey since William Leuchtenburg's Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, which appeared more than a quarter-century ago.
An interpretive synthesis of the history of the New Deal. Historical writing about that era has been stalemated since the 1960s, when radical critics challenged the dominant liberal interpretation. Though many aspects of this significant period have since been researched, historians largely have avoided the grand interpretation of the New Deal that used to predominate. The result has been many studies but little coherence. While Badger's work can hardly be called a major synthesis, nor can his conclusions be considered startling, it reveals that some sense can be made out of the massive, fragmented body of historical work. The New Deal was not as revolutionary as some have thought, but neither was it as conservative as others have argued. Its significance came from its success in sustaining American society during a period of great stress. A well-written study.-- Charles K. Piehl, Mankoto State Univ., Minn.
Part 1 Introduction 1 Part 2 Depression America 11 Part 3 Holidays, Eagles, and Deficits: Finance and Industry 66 Part 4 Strife and Satisfaction: Labour 118 Part 5 Parity and Poverty: Agriculture 147 Part 6 Doles and Jobs: Welfare 190 Part 7 Partial Realignment: Politics 245 Part 8 Conclusion: Unanticipated Consequences 299 Part 9 Bibliographical Essay 313 Part 10 List of Abbreviations 365 Part 11 Index 367