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New Deal



  • Has Biden's FDR Dream Hit the Rocks?

    Joe Biden must have expected unified Republican opposition and betrayal by Democratic moderates, but probably not so quickly. 


  • A House Still Divided (Part 1)

    by Walter G. Moss

    The core of our polarization is a disagreement about what kind of country we will be – one dominated by Christian white men or one, in Frederick Douglass's words, "of perfect civil equality to the people of all races and of all creeds, and to men of no creeds." 



  • What is Left of the New Deal?

    by Michael Kazin

    Eric Rauchway's book on the New Deal stresses that FDR believed democracy could survive only if people accepted, and government supported, their mutual dependence on one another. Preserving the New Deal political order means recognizing and celebrating its tangible achievements. 



  • A New Deal for Writers in America

    by Scott Borchert

    "The best reason to support a new F.W.P. is also the most obvious. Like its predecessor, the project would be an economic rescue plan for writers, broadly defined: workers who have been grappling with a slowly unfolding crisis in their industry for at least a decade."



  • When the Government Supported Writers

    by Max Holleran

    "With its reminder that creative labor was once seen—like a strategic reserve of fuel, weapons, or medical supplies—as worthy of federal protection, Republic of Detours mobilizes New Deal history to help us imagine what our society would be like if federal tax dollars supported a reserve army of muralists, poets, and oral historians."



  • Are We Entering a New Political Era?

    A group of younger progressive activists is seeking to push the Democratic Party to see a new political alignment where active government and public programs are no longer considered impossible. Some members of the group of historians and scholars who met with President Biden in March also relayed that message.



  • Joe Biden Wants to Be Like Roosevelt. But Can He Get the Votes?

    Jill Lepore and Jelani Cobb join New Yorker Editor David Remnick's podcast to discuss the prospects for an ambitious program of spending and public works. As Lepore says, “You can’t put F.D.R. in Dr. Who’s phone booth and bring him to 2021."



  • A New Deal, This Time for Everyone

    The New Deal emphasized that American democracy must be healthy for its economy to enjoy legitimacy, and vice versa. It's time, says NYT editor Binyamin Appelbaum, to extend that commitment to the economic participation of women. 



  • FDR’s Second 100 Days Were Cooler Than His First 100 Days

    by Jordan Weissmann

    The first 100 days of the New Deal could be described as disaster response. The second 100 days, according to historians William Leuchtenberg, Erich Rauchway and David Kennedy, were when the administration took steps that transformed labor relations and birthed a modern social welfare state. 



  • Joe Biden Wants An ‘FDR-Size Presidency.’ What Does That Even Mean?

    The proposed dollar value of spending in Biden's recovery plan isn't the best measure of comparison to the New Deal. Does the plan assume the society is basically sound and in need of "bailing out" or unsound and in need of restructuring? Historian Eric Rauchway explains. 



  • F.D.R. Didn’t Just Fix the Economy

    Times columnist Jamelle Bouie draws on the work of historian Eric Rauchway to argue that Franklin Roosevelt envisioned the New Deal as a renewal of core democratic principles that the government should serve the needs of the people and be accountable to them. 



  • Can Joe Biden Replicate FDR’s Success in Rebuilding the Democrats’ Coalition?

    Eric Rauchway's latest book on the FDR era shows that the New Deal was a complex undertaking, administered often through local channels, which meant it sometimes enabled democracy and sometimes suppressed it. The Biden administration can win allegiance from voters by expanding the safety net and strategic spending, but it won't be simple. 



  • In Reimagining a Key New Deal Program, Joe Biden can Eliminate its Racism

    by Katie Thornton

    Advocates for a new federal initiative modeled on New Deal-era conservation work programs must acknowledge and fight against the racial discrimination those programs perpetuated. Stories of the relatively few Black men who developed leadership skills and developed careers from CCC service show, however, that such programs could promote opportunity.