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The New Deal: A Modern History (2011)

The New Deal: A Modern History (2011)
3.8 of 5 Votes: 1
1439154481 (ISBN13: 9781439154489)
Free Press
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The New Deal: A Modern History (2011)
The New Deal: A Modern History (2011)

About book: A balanced history of the New Deal and issues and personalities involved, this work brings to life one of the most important eras in American - even world - history. This book also dispels myths about the project and demonstrates to the non-American reader the successes and flaws of this massive endeavor. The New Deal was a watershed; its legacies are still around today: Social Security, infrastructure, environmental conservation, the judicious regulation of private enterprise, etc. But there is another legacy of the New Deal that has profound relevance today as it had 80 years ago: that government can - and should be- a force for good. Hiltzik's book hovers directly between three and four stars for me, since there are unique anecdotes within that you won't find anywhere else, even if the whole structure of the book is a little shaky. To his credit, Hiltzik makes the economic details of the New Deal's alphabet soup of agencies seem exciting, by giving us insight on people behind the scenes like Tom Corcoran and Ben Cohen.There are times in the book when the transitions are a little weak, but Hiltzik's writing style is breezy and fun. His assessment of FDR's efforts in 1937 to pack the Supreme Court is particularly revealing. FDR's problems were similar to those of Woodrow Wilson in trying to sell the League of Nations - it seems as though both presidents were somewhat clumsy, not knowing how to handle their PR message correctly. It seems inconceivable that this could take place in the 21st-century era of 24-hour spin doctoring.In fact, what Hiltzik's book points out is how far the pre-FDR era was from the world we know today. Some libertarians might wish we could return to a 19th-century world of farmer-yeomen and small government. But the infrastructure of Social Security, NLRB, SEC, etc. that FDR gave us is simply the new baseline functionality of government. And the kind of civil service ushered in by Chester Arthur in the 1870s is the type of government that simply is necessary in the era of globalization. FDR may be excoriated by many communities, but Hiltzik shows us that the New Deal ushered in an era that made the post-1940 United States vastly different from the nation that preceded it.
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Excellent book. Well written and easy to read. Highly recommend!
This was an excellent book that discussed the New Deal.
In progress, but so far I'm enjoying it.
Wonderful read!
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