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Roosevelt's Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party
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Roosevelt's Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  19 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
In his first term in office, Franklin Roosevelt helped pull the nation out of the Great Depression with his landmark programs. In November 1936, every state except Maine and Vermont voted enthusiastically for his reelection. But then the political winds shifted. Not only did the Supreme Court block some of his transformational experiments, but he also faced serious opposit ...more
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published October 15th 2010 by Belknap Press
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Nov 17, 2011 alix rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book detailing FDR's 1938 attempt to push conservative--largely Southern and Western--Democrats out of the party in order to ensure that the Congressional Democratic base was comprised of New Dealers. Dunn does a good job of setting up the story in the historical context, highlighting how the purge was a major aberration from FDR's well-known and very successful tactic of pushing New Deal policies through Congress via peacemaking and consensus. A large portion of the book ...more
Sep 27, 2014 Mark rated it it was ok
Susan Dunn's account of Franklin Roosevelt's attempt to "purge" conservative Democrats from the party in the 1938 midterm elections provides an enjoyable narrative of the campaign and a useful analysis of its failure. Yet Dunn founds her book on a questionable premise: that the midterm elections in that year began the process of realigning the national political parties along the ideological lines that they possess today. Such an argument is flawed, as it ignores the ideological recasting that t ...more
Leigh Koonce
Mar 02, 2013 Leigh Koonce rated it liked it
I wish this book had spent more time discussing the actual contests in which FDR attempted to purge conservative Democrats. Instead, the first half of the book discussed his administration and goals, a topic in which I have been swimming for two years thanks to Directed Readings research. All of that aside, the book is well written and includes some nice photographs of FDR through the late 30s.
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Susan Dunn is Professor of Literature and the History of Ideas at Williams College and Senior Scholar and the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. She is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed Sister Revolutions

Academic Degrees
* A. B. cum laude, Smith College, 1966. Phi Beta Kappa.
* Ph.D. Harvard University, 1973

Professional Experience
* Williams College,
More about Susan Dunn...

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