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New Deal



  • When the Government Supported Writers

    by Max Holleran

    "With its reminder that creative labor was once seen—like a strategic reserve of fuel, weapons, or medical supplies—as worthy of federal protection, Republic of Detours mobilizes New Deal history to help us imagine what our society would be like if federal tax dollars supported a reserve army of muralists, poets, and oral historians."



  • Are We Entering a New Political Era?

    A group of younger progressive activists is seeking to push the Democratic Party to see a new political alignment where active government and public programs are no longer considered impossible. Some members of the group of historians and scholars who met with President Biden in March also relayed that message.



  • Joe Biden Wants to Be Like Roosevelt. But Can He Get the Votes?

    Jill Lepore and Jelani Cobb join New Yorker Editor David Remnick's podcast to discuss the prospects for an ambitious program of spending and public works. As Lepore says, “You can’t put F.D.R. in Dr. Who’s phone booth and bring him to 2021."



  • A New Deal, This Time for Everyone

    The New Deal emphasized that American democracy must be healthy for its economy to enjoy legitimacy, and vice versa. It's time, says NYT editor Binyamin Appelbaum, to extend that commitment to the economic participation of women. 



  • 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. 



  • 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. 



  • F.D.R. Didn’t Just Fix the Economy

    Times columnist Jamelle Bouie draws on the work of historian Eric Rauchway to argue that Franklin Roosevelt envisioned the New Deal as a renewal of core democratic principles that the government should serve the needs of the people and be accountable to them. 



  • 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.