During the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal carried out a program of dramatic reform to counter the unprecedented failures of the market economy exposed by the Great Depression. Contrary to the views of today's conservative critics, this book argues that New Dealers were not 'anticapitalist' in the ways in which they approached the problems confronting society. Rather, they were reformers who were deeply interested in fixing the problems of capitalism, if at times unsure of the best tools to use for the job. In undertaking their reforms, the New Dealers profoundly changed the United States in ways that still resonate today. Lively and engaging, this narrative history focuses on the impact of political and economic change on social and cultural relations.
Jason Scott Smith is Associate Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, where he teaches courses on the history of capitalism and liberalism. Smith is the author of the award-winning Building New Deal Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2005). He is often quoted in the media, and his scholarly work has appeared in a number of journals, including the Journal of Social History, the Pacific Historical Review, Reviews in American History, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. From 2004 to 2006 he held a Mellon Fellowship in American Studies at Cornell University, where he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Government. In 2001-2 he was the Harvard-Newcomen Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
1. A global depression; 2. Saving capitalism, 1933-4; 3. The New Deal at high tide, 1934-6; 4. Society and culture in the 1930s; 5. Opposition and backlash, 1937-9; 6. Legacies of the New Deal.