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New Deal



  • Can Joe Biden Replicate FDR’s Success in Rebuilding the Democrats’ Coalition?

    Eric Rauchway's latest book on the FDR era shows that the New Deal was a complex undertaking, administered often through local channels, which meant it sometimes enabled democracy and sometimes suppressed it. The Biden administration can win allegiance from voters by expanding the safety net and strategic spending, but it won't be simple. 



  • In Reimagining a Key New Deal Program, Joe Biden can Eliminate its Racism

    by Katie Thornton

    Advocates for a new federal initiative modeled on New Deal-era conservation work programs must acknowledge and fight against the racial discrimination those programs perpetuated. Stories of the relatively few Black men who developed leadership skills and developed careers from CCC service show, however, that such programs could promote opportunity. 



  • Why America Needs a Tech New Deal

    by Nicol Turner Lee

    The pandemic has shown that internet technology is key for how Americans work, connect, and access learning and services. Making access more equitable and widespread should be at the center of economic recovery programs following the example of the Tennessee Valley Authority. 



  • The New Deal’s Capitalist Lessons for Joe Biden

    by Louis Hyman

    An economic historian argues that the greatest impact of the New Deal came from programs that guided the investment of private capital to social ends, rather than direct expenditure on public works. 


  • History (and Historians) Need a New Deal

    by Shannan Clark

    Only a program of direct public employment for historians, along with other academics, can lead to a vibrant future for the discipline in which access to careers is expanded, with greater diversity and equity.  The history of the WPA cultural projects shows us the way.



  • The Next New Deal Must Be for Black Americans, Too

    by Willow Lung-Amam

    Those advocating for New Deal-type programs from the Biden-Harris administration must be profoundly aware of the way the first New Deal accommodated racial prejudice and deepened material inequality; any acceptable understanding of "build back better" must actively tackle racial inequality as well as protecting the existing middle class.



  • How Did the GOP Become the Party of Ideas?

    by Lawrence B. Glickman

    The Republican Party's reputation as the "Party of Ideas" in the late 1970s and 1980s was generally created by Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who derided the New Deal and Great Society as stale and outdated in a struggle to push the Democratic Party to the right. 



  • An FDR-Size Executive Order for Biden

    by Thomas Geoghegan

    Joseph Biden should issue an executive order requiring federal contracts go to firms with collective bargaining agreements in place, boosting wages, strengthening organized labor, and stimulating economic recovery. 



  • When Black Voters Went Blue

    Leah Wright Rigeur discusses the process by which Black voters shifted from loyal Republicans to Democrats. 


  • FDR Was Right to Propose Enlarging the Court

    by James D. Robenalt

    Franklin Roosevelt's error in 1937 was not to propose expanding the court, it was to fail to explain and defend his popular political reasons for doing so.



  • The Depression-Era Lessons That Can Solve Today’s Evictions Crisis

    by Anya Jabour

    Social workers and researchers Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge conducted an important study of evictions in Chicago during the Great Depression and advocated for federal support for a minimum standard of living including housing. The looming eviction crisis demands similar big thinking. 



  • When Henry Wallace Warned of ‘American Fascism’

    John Nichols's new book argues that Franklin Roosevelt's decision to cut loose Vice President Henry Wallace crippled egalitarian politics in the Democratic Party with lasting consequences.   



  • The Future of American Liberalism

    Columnist David Brooks looks to historians of the New Deal era to suggest Joe Biden can succeed like FDR by offering an active but pragmatic plan to pull America out of the hole created by the coronavirus pandemic.