Leon H. Keyserling

Leon H. Keyserling : A Progressive Economist

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Leon H. Keyserling: A Progressive Economist is the insightful biography of the life and thought of the influential liberal reformer Leon H. Keyserling. By examining Keyserling's life in the context of integrative liberalism, the biography aims to explore the origins of the concept of integrative liberalism and Keyserling's profound and provocative contribution to it. The book follows the political reformer's life from the beginning of his career as a member of Democratic Senator Robert Wagner's staff, at the same time showing how the Progressive Movement, before World War I, was the ideological and institutional origin for integrative liberalism. The Great Depression and subsequent New Deal, to which Keyserling was a significant contributor, allowed integrative liberalism to develop until the movement started losing vitality in the 1960's and came to an end during the Reagan Presidency. In the meantime, the book presents Keyserling as a major sculptor of Truman's economic policies, after which he left the government and began effectively debating public policy on his own. Tracing Keyserling's interactions with each presidency, the biography shows that Keyserling's policies and politics were expressive of integrated liberalism, an often-overlooked philosophy of reform in the second half of the twentieth century. The ideological cornerstone of integrative liberalism was a full employment public policy, expressed as economic growth and developed directly from United States history. The fear driving the policy was that there would be wide swings in the business cycle, resulting in underemployment and economic stagnation. This sentiment and fear has an impact even now in the twenty-first century, making Leon H. Keyserling a timely and profitable study for graduate and undergraduate students of history, economics, political science, and public administration.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 260 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 073914085X
  • 9780739140857

Review quote

From his boyhood near Beaufort, South Carolina, to his work as an architect of the New Deal, Leon Keyserling cared deeply about the poor and the powerless. Professor Donald Pickens reflects on the doctrines of Hegel, Keynes, and Dewey, and on the influences of mentors Rexford Tugwell and Senator Robert Wagner, to explain Keyserling's faith in economic growth and social engineering to solve the crises of the business cycle.--Dale Rosengarten, College of Charleston A major figure in the post-World War history of American political economy, Leon Keyserling has long needed a full biography. Donald K. Pickens has met that need with this excellent account of Keyserling's life and career.--Charles C. Alexander, Ohio University This book is a timely and relevant analysis of the philosophy of Keyserling, an economic adviser to the President--an important man in terms of economic history and policy for his era and for ours today. A good and revealing read!--W. Robert Brazelton, University of Missouri, Kansas Cityshow more

About Donald K Pickens

Donald K. Pickens is a professor of history at the University of North Texas. He is the author of Eugenics and the Progressives and co-author of America in Process.show more