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L_Monty
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Registered: ‎12-30-2008
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In May, History tries to go off the bread line and back to work

[ Edited ]
With much of America worried about the frightening economic horizon and looking to Barack Obama and his team's first 100 days in office, it's an ideal time to look at an American president in similar circumstances: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Moreover, given the enthusiasm for Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals and the idea of a circle of presidential advisors of all stripes (and with all manner of disagreements) and for Obama's efforts to include advisors who advocate contrary economic principles, looking at Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first 100 days and his team of Keynesians and free-marketers might provide us with an interesting mirror for our times.



In Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the 100 Days That Created Modern America, New York Times editorial board member Adam Cohen delivers an exemplary and remarkably timely narrative of FDR's famous first Hundred Days as president. Providing a new perspective on an oft-told story, Cohen zeroes in on the five Roosevelt aides-de-camp whom he rightly sees as having been the most influential in developing FDR's wave of extraordinary actions. These were agriculture secretary Henry Wallace, presidential aide Raymond Moley, budget director Lewis Douglas, labor secretary Frances Perkins and Civil Works Administration director Harry Hopkins. This group, Cohen emphasizes, did not work in concert. The liberal Perkins, Wallace and Hopkins often clashed with Douglas, one of the few free-marketers in FDR's court. Moley hovered somewhere in between the two camps. As Cohen shows, the liberals generally prevailed in debates. However, the vital foundation for FDR's New Deal was crafted through a process of rigorous argument within the president's innermost circle rather than ideological consensus. Cohen's exhaustively researched and eloquently argued book provides a vital new level of insight into Roosevelt's sweeping expansion of the federal government's role in our national life.
Message Edited by L_Monty on 05-19-2009 01:55 AM
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Choisya
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Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: In April, History tries to go off the bread line and back to work

I am an admirer or both FDR and Maynard Keynes, Monty, so will buy Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the 100 Days That Created Modern America and join the discussion.
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Historyismypassion
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Registered: ‎06-28-2008
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Re: In April, History tries to go off the bread line and back to work

Just purchased and started Nothing To Fear and I am enjoying it so far.  Does anyone have an opinion of the focus of the book?  Specifically the focus on FDR's advisors?  I find it an interesting view of the FDR administration.  Will get back to the group with more thoughts.

 

Historyismypassion

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NikkiO
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Registered: ‎04-28-2009
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Re: In April, History tries to go off the bread line and back to work

Read anything you can find about the Financial Panic of 1873 - 1879 - You'll get a real good idea on why we are in the mess we're in now...history repeats itself...Statemen of that day knew it and wrote a lot about it so we wouldn't make the same mistakes.