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Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940 (The New American Nation Series)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  218 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
When the stability of American life was threatened by the Great Depression, the decisive and visionary policy contained in FDR's New Deal offered America a way forward. In this groundbreaking work, William E. Leuchtenburg traces the evolution of what was both the most controversial and effective socioeconomic initiative ever undertaken in the United States—and explains how ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1963)
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Sagar Jethani
Oct 08, 2011 Sagar Jethani rated it really liked it
William E. Leuchtenburg’s “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal” is a shrewd appraisal of the legacy of one of the most controversial efforts ever undertaken by the federal government. It is hard to read Leuchtenburg’s history without drawing parallels to the perils now facing the United States in late 2011. It may be fairly said that an American’s views on FDR and the New Deal serve as accurate predictors of his politics—liberals applaud the New Deal and its effect on improving the lives of m ...more
Frank Stein
Aug 17, 2011 Frank Stein rated it it was amazing
A near perfect synopsis of the New Deal and of Franklin Roosevelt's central place in constructing it.

Published back in 1962, Leuchtenberg's book proves itself to be a preeminent example of old-fashioned political history. He of course focuses on the big names and the big players, yet he also draws a disturbing picture of the state of the country they aimed to transform. By 1932 Milo Reno and the Farmers' Holiday Association had called for a national farm strike; they eventually dynamited factori
Apr 21, 2014 Samuel rated it really liked it
Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been regarded as one of the most beloved presidents of the 20th century (I mean, he's on the dime; his cousin Teddy Roosevelt--while one of the four faces on Mount Rushmore--has no coin to speak of). While most Americans see him and his New Deal policies as the beginnings of the American socialist state and excessive government spending, he ran his initial campaign against Herbert Hoover criticizing the Republican administration for spending too much and calling for ...more
Mark Bowles
Aug 30, 2014 Mark Bowles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A. Synopsis:
1. No other president since Washington had dominated his times like FDR. IT is the conservative character of the New Deal and of its leader that is most impressive. The “Roosevelt Revolution” was the culmination of a half century of historical development. While an isolationist at heart he soon realized that what happened in Italy, Germany, and Japan affected American freedom and democracy.
2. The Great Depression is seen here as one of the turning points of American history. The ar
Nov 30, 2016 Tom rated it it was amazing
A comprehensive review of the New Deal and the role FDR played in its creation and roll-out. I'd just finished a book on the Great Depression, so much of the information in here wasn't exactly new to me, but this one goes into greater analysis on FDR and his political mindset, what the New Deal itself set out to do compared to what other rival political ideologies Left and Right were looking to do, and the lead up to World War II. Anyone looking for the basics on the New Deal and the President m ...more
Nov 28, 2016 nick rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
If you want to read a book to understand every program implemented during the new deal, find another book, but if you are looking for what impact of the new deal was on US society then this is the perfect book.

William E. Leuchtenburg does a tremendous job in putting to paper the sentiment of the times and the people involved both implementer, critic as general public. However before I start praising, I should point out a few things. A lot if not the majority of new deal programs are mentioned o
Dan Gorman
Mar 17, 2017 Dan Gorman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent classic history of the New Deal. Leuchtenburg is a talented writer in that mid-twentieth-century urbane newspaperman way. He discusses African American and civil rights history to a laudable degree, but few women aside from Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Perkins appear in the book. Leuchtenburg faults Roosevelt for being too cautious and too focused with deflationary politics in the early years of the New Deal, but praises Roosevelt's later inflationary spending (the author is a Keynesi ...more
David Bates
May 23, 2013 David Bates rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the depths of the emergency the political institutions of the United States were transformed. Under Franklin Roosevelt the Presidency eclipsed Congress, the federal government inserted itself deeply into economic affairs, and citizens learned to think differently about what government could and should accomplish. A mythic quality hangs over the events of the decade; the first hundred days of Roosevelt’s first term, the flood of experimental legislation, the growing impatience and radicalism t ...more
Nov 28, 2013 B rated it liked it
Shelves: own, westend
Leuchtenberg is like the exact opposite of Doris Kearns Goodwin. He's always cited for his work but never quoted. let alone outside his narrow body of knowledge. (Also, no one ever said that he didn't write his books.)

So I made it a point to actually read the book.

I should have checked the copyright date. Although it's interesting to know what historians in the 1960s thought about the New Deal, I think it's less authoritative than a good modern historian's view despite the length of time.

John King
Dec 04, 2012 John King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. It shows the chances President Roosevelt was willing to take, with or without support from his own party and supporters. He was of the mind that he had to do something to make things better for people and if what he proposed did that, it was a success.

There were so many parallels to todays economic crisis that at first it's eery, but then you realize it's that we just never learn our lesson. Many of the regulations that were put through due to the New Deal to avoi
Sep 18, 2007 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for a solid history of the New Deal, and this was just right. At 348 pages of text, it wasn't too long.

When I read a history, I look for two things: I want the book to be informative without assuming too much prior knowledge of the subject, and I want it to be well-written--not too dry. The New Deal period is one that I knew little about and this book did an excellent job of covering both the politics of the period and the New Deal programs. And while it is not the most compelling
Nov 15, 2008 Larissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vivid, written like a script for a James Cagney movie. Read all about the founding of our great, familiar social security institutions and banking legislation and the strange ones that didn't last, like the National Recovery Administration, with its code agreements. Great language (John Lewis of the American Federation of Labor: "It ill behooves one who has supped at Labor's table to curse with equal fervor and fine impartiality at labor and its adversaries when they become locked in a deadly em ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was published in 1963 and it won the 1964 Bancroft Prize and the 1964 Francis Parkman Prize. I first read this book in college many, many, many years ago and I like to reread it every few years. I think that this is one of the best one-volume examinations of the crisis that existed when Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated in March, 1933 and vividly describes how his administration attempted to deal with economic collapse of the Great Depression. The narrative traces the evolution of ...more
Daren Doucet
Mar 16, 2013 Daren Doucet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FDR, a great American President. Led this country through the most difficult times, during the great depression, and into World War.

Great economic stabilizing initiatives, and planning, on how to get the struggling economy going again.

Insight into the elections which FDR won, with the old grand standing, public speaking from railway trains, and so on.
Bill Schultz
If you are a real historian this is a great book. It gives tremendous detail. For someone like me who wanted to get more of the big picture it was too detailed. I worked my way through this book and learned a tremendous amount but I don't have the background to appreciate it fully.
Mar 22, 2010 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I want to read this book because we are learning about the GD and i want to learn about it!
Nikolas Co
Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal 1932-1940 by William E. Leuchtenburg (1963)
Dec 03, 2008 Gravity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been an extremely depressing read just a few months ago, but now it's just interesting to think how history circles round and round like water being sucked down a drain.
Mar 31, 2014 Leo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fdr
Packs a lot in one volume. Great into to the period.
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Jan 22, 2009
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“In the spring of 1931, West African natives in the Cameroons sent New York $3.77 for relief for the "starving"; that fall Amtorgs's new York office received 100,000 applications for job in Soviet Russia. On a single weekend in April, 1932, the 'Ile de france' and other transatlantic liner carried nearly 4,000 workingmen back to Europe; in June, 500 Rhode Island aliens departed for Mediterranean ports.” 1 likes
“In Chicago [during the Great Depression], a crowd of some fifty hungry men fought over barrel of garbage set outside the back door of restaurant” 0 likes
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