Forget Policy Wins, Biden Needs to Tell Voters the Story of His Administration
by Julian Zelizer
The Biden administration and the Democrats have both legislative successes of their own and unpopular Republican positions to present to voters. Do they have a story that ties them together?
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
False Accusations of "Fascism" at Democrats, Like Those Biden Faces, are Nothing New
by Jon Marshall
Glenn Beck's accusation that Biden is leading a global elite cabal of fascists doesn't have to make sense when it spreads around the world on social media and cable TV.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
The "Dead Hand" on the Supreme Court
by Ronald Brownstein
The Supreme Court's conservative majority has been nominated by presidents and confirmed by senators who represent rural, white, Christian conservatives in an increasingly diverse country. Court historian Jeff Shesol says this dynamic has threatened the court's legitimacy in the past.
SOURCE: The Grio
The Hidden History of the New Deal's "Black Brain Trust"
Writer Michael Harriot examines the influence of a group of African American advisors to Franklin Roosevelt, which began with the friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune.
Historian Harvey Kaye: Biden has Never Wanted to be FDR
Entering office in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was confident that mass social movements would build support for systemic political and economic change. Joe Biden does not seem to be drawing similar lessons from social protest today.
SOURCE: New York Times
Stephen Vladeck: Bring Back the Second Part of FDR's SCOTUS Reform Plan
by Stephen Vladeck
As the Supreme Court adopts a posture of governing by injunction before lower court appeals run their course, should revive FDR's proposal that cases seeking to throw out state or federal rules be heard by special panels, not single judges chosen through jurisdiction-shopping.
SOURCE: The New Republic
TNR Editor: Actually, Biden Was Elected to Be an FDR
If Democratic moderates want their president and their party to succeed, they need to grapple with the political decisions that have destroyed public investment and transferred the nation's wealth upward to the rich, and think of the present as a crisis comparable to the Great Depression.
“Some of Our Superpatriots are Simply Going Crazy”: America's Response to the Fall of France
by Michael S. Neiberg
The fall of France in 1940 disrupted Americans' understandings of their stable and secure place in the world. One response was intense nativism and paranoia about spies and subversives that resonate with today's pandemic response.
SOURCE: New York Magazine
Has Biden's FDR Dream Hit the Rocks?
Joe Biden must have expected unified Republican opposition and betrayal by Democratic moderates, but probably not so quickly.
Ending COVID in Our Lifetimes Requires Seeing the Bonds of Shared Humanity
by Michael Hogan
"In the end, like those who sought to escape the plague in Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death,” we are all vulnerable and at risk if we do not look to see that our fellow human beings both at home and abroad are safeguarded as well."
Wartime Wisdom to Combat Inflation
by David Stein
Today, monetary policy controlled by the Federal Reserve is the only tool commonly used to control inflation, pitting controlling prices against full employment and wage growth. The history of the World War II Office of Price Administration reveals other possibilities.
SOURCE: Washington Post
A Century Ago, FDR Was Stricken with Polio, Changing History
"It was a transformative moment in American history, and the start of the “central event” in the life of one of the country’s greatest presidents, historian Hugh Gregory Gallagher has written."
SOURCE: The Nation
What is Left of the New Deal?
by Michael Kazin
Eric Rauchway's book on the New Deal stresses that FDR believed democracy could survive only if people accepted, and government supported, their mutual dependence on one another. Preserving the New Deal political order means recognizing and celebrating its tangible achievements.
FDR's Indispensable Right-Hand Woman Portrayed Unfairly – Again
by Kathryn Smith
A new PBS series on the Norwegian Royal Family's contact with FDR at the outset of World War II takes some liberties with the facts, but is particularly unfair to Marguerite LeHand, who was Roosevelt's de facto chief of staff for years.
Why the New Deal Still Matters Today
Eric Rauchway of UC Davis joins Letters and Poltics on Pacifica Radio to discuss the ongoing legacy of the New Deal.
FDR’s Second 100 Days Were Cooler Than His First 100 Days
by Jordan Weissmann
The first 100 days of the New Deal could be described as disaster response. The second 100 days, according to historians William Leuchtenberg, Erich Rauchway and David Kennedy, were when the administration took steps that transformed labor relations and birthed a modern social welfare state.
FDR's Court Packing Plan Backfired in the South. Will Biden Repeat The Error?
by James C. Cobb
FDR's court packing efforts were based in a miscalculation of the president's political capital, especially with southern Democrats. It seems like Joe Biden is working to avoid similar overreach.
Joe Biden Wants An ‘FDR-Size Presidency.’ What Does That Even Mean?
The proposed dollar value of spending in Biden's recovery plan isn't the best measure of comparison to the New Deal. Does the plan assume the society is basically sound and in need of "bailing out" or unsound and in need of restructuring? Historian Eric Rauchway explains.
SOURCE: Mother Jones
The Original Sin of America’s Broken Immigration Courts
A decision made by Franklin Roosevelt to move immigration services from jurisdiction of the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice laid the groundwork for criminalizing immigration and for abusive practices that came to light in the most recent administration.
SOURCE: PBS News Hour
Does a President’s First 100 Days Reveal Anything About the Next Four Years?
Does a President's "First 100 Days" really tell anything useful about the course of a presidency? PBS News Hour compares Biden to some past Presidents.
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- The Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
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- Excerpt: How Apartheid South Africa Tried to Create a Libertarian Utopia
- Historian's Book on 1970s NBA Shows Racial Politics around Basketball Have Always Been Ugly
- Kendi: "Anti-woke" Part of Backlash Against Antiracist Protest Movements
- Monica Muñoz Martinez Honored for Truth-Telling in Texas History