FDR's Folly and
 

Bully Boy: The Truth About Theodore Roosevelt's Legacy

Jim Powell, Author
Jim Powell, Author . Crown Forum $27.50 (329p) ISBN 978-0-307-23722-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-10637-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-307-23723-1
Open Ebook - 220 pages - 978-0-307-34755-8
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Powell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has made a name for himself writing provocative studies of presidents (FDR's Folly and Wilson's War ). In this biased, unpersuasive account, Powell argues that virtually every plank of Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive agenda—including trust-busting, regulation of food and drugs, and the income tax (which Powell describes as "blood money") was a disaster. He sees Roosevelt as a dangerous tyrant who sought to expand the power of the executive office in order to promote his own interests. Powell's libertarian politics color almost every page of this study. To wit, his critique of Roosevelt's conservationism: "By establishing federal control over so much U.S. land, he defied the prevailing American view that land use decisions were best made by private individuals who had a stake in improving the value of their property." Powell also turns his guns on muckraking reporter Jacob Riis, remembered for his journalistic exposés of urban poverty. Powell says that instead of unmasking poverty, Riis should have asked "whether the poor were better off" in his day than they had been in the past, then approvingly quotes Thomas Hobbes's description of life as "poor, nasty, brutish, and short." This is irresponsible revisionism at its worst. (Aug. 8)

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