The Politics of Recovery

The Politics of Recovery : Roosevelt's New Deal

3 (1 rating by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$24.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Product details

  • Hardback | 286 pages
  • 147.32 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195032489
  • 9780195032482

Review Text

Anyone who still thinks that FDR's First Hundred Days witnessed the first dramatic steps toward the fulfillment of a preconceived New Deal had better take a closer look. New York Univ. historian Romasco makes a good (if not original) case that Roosevelt's actions were motivated by political rather than economic considerations, and that his programs were the result of piecemeal political maneuvering rather than careful planning. Witness the beneficiaries: those with the greatest political clout got theirs first, and so on down the ladder of power. On the top rung were the bankers saved by the National Banking Act (and others), then taken off the hook when the Reconstruction Finance Corporation was set up to make the capital investments ordinary bankers wouldn't make. Right behind were the commercial farmers whose political power fit happily with what Romasco, following Hofstadter, calls the "agrarian myth" so effectively employed by FDR. Farmers were the beneficiaries of staple crop price-fixing and inflationary measures (like the abolition of the gold standard and the introduction of silver coinage) that reduced their debt. By contrast, industrial workers and the unemployed got very little from the recovery measures, while the elderly, sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and migrants waited until the so-called Second New Deal to benefit. Romasco argues, also, that FDR first wavered on taking an internationalist approach to the Great Depression, then went over to isolationist/nationalist measures aimed at recovery. These programs were successful politically (insofar as they gave a little to everyone with power), but they failed to bring about the intended recovery. Hence the need for relief legislation. When recovery stalled, moreover, business began to balk at the wisdom of government intervention, and recovery never gave way to reform. In the end, Romasco credits FDR with little beyond holding the political system together in impossible economic circumstances. A lot of detail makes this short text heavy for an introduction, yet it's not sufficiently fleshed out for a full-scale re-interpretation. Cogent, then, if limited. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

1 ratings
3 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 0% (0)
3 100% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X