Retreat From Liberalism

Overview

During the 1930s, a battle was waged over both philosophy and policy between those who described themselves as liberals, both inside and outside the Roosevelt administration. On one side were those who viewed themselves as modern liberals, who saw capitalism as a failure and sought to replace it with a collectivist society and economy. On the other were more traditional American liberals or progressives who aimed merely to reform capitalism, in the belief that individual liberty and a free economy were ...

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Overview

During the 1930s, a battle was waged over both philosophy and policy between those who described themselves as liberals, both inside and outside the Roosevelt administration. On one side were those who viewed themselves as modern liberals, who saw capitalism as a failure and sought to replace it with a collectivist society and economy. On the other were more traditional American liberals or progressives who aimed merely to reform capitalism, in the belief that individual liberty and a free economy were synonymous. This study examines the role of each during this vital decade. Instead of reaching its high point in the New Deal years, Best argues, American liberalism retreated from most of its major tenets as a result of the popularity of collectivism.

Challenging existing stereotypes and conventional wisdom concerning the 1930s, this study delves into the controversy between the new liberals and the free enterprise group. Included in this latter category were the Brandeisians, who exercised considerable influence within the Roosevelt administration, as well as a variety of more traditional liberals who worked through other channels to achieve their goals. Many of those who called themselves liberals in the 1930s had, Best contends, actually abandoned their basic liberal tenets. This included the president as well.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275946562
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/30/2002
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

GARY DEAN BEST is Professor of History at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. His previous books include Pride, Prejudice, and Politics (Praeger, 1990), FDR and the Bonus Marchers (Praeger, 1992), and The Nickel and Dime Decade (Praeger, 1993).

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Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 1
1 A Leap into the Dark 11
2 Misgivings 27
3 The Combatants 41
4 Confusion in the Ranks 59
5 Creative Economics 75
6 Collectivists and the Court 91
7 Progressives and the Court 107
8 The Good Society 123
9 Disenchantment 137
Epilogue 151
Notes 155
Bibliography 167
Index 171
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