Alan Marchant's Reviews > FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

FDR's Folly by Jim Powell
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's review
Jul 03, 09

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in April, 2009

The Raw Deal

If recent event's hadn't made the New Deal such a deadly serious topic, I would have suggested that Jim Powell's book should have been titled "the FDR Follies." The book addresses the depressingly perverse effects of Roosevelt's policies with understated good humor. But with the current government doing its best to resurrect every wrong-headed appeal of the New Deal, one can only hope that people will give the most serious attention to the economic history of the Great Depression.

FDR's Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression has been derided as revisionist history. It is not. In fact, Powell's generation grew up with no serious history of the Great Depression. We were presented only with the most callow hagiography of Roosevelt and his cronies.

Powell's book is essentially free of invective and personal judgement. The book simply describes the planning, implementation, and outcomes of the major New Deal economic policies. It is left to the reader to conclude that FDR's administration was well-meaning, but tripped up by the same arrogant mindset that infected Roosevelt's European contemporaries.
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