cover image Dealers and Dreamers: A New Look at the New Deal

Dealers and Dreamers: A New Look at the New Deal

Joseph Lash. Doubleday Books, $24.95 (510pp) ISBN 978-0-385-18716-9

By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Eleanor and Franklin, this is a fresh and admiring look at the original ``brain trusters'' (Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, Adolf Berle) and others crucial to the legislated social transformation presided over by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Depression years. Among the ``others'' Lash pays particular attention to are Thomas G. Corcoran, ``the unofficial whip of the New Deal,'' and Benjamin V. Cohen, principal draftsman of several ground-breaking bills sent to Congress. The author describes Cohen as the intellectual coordinator of the New Deal and the keeper of its conscience. Working from Corcoran and Cohen's private papers, he sheds light on the significance of the Securities Exchange Act, FDR's court-packing attempt, the 1936 presidential campaign, the effect of the New Deal on black Americans and other issues throughout the decade before Pearl Harbor. Photos. (June)