The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War

Alan Brinkley, Author Alfred A. Knopf $27.5 (371p) ISBN 978-0-394-53573-9
A central tenet of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, at least through 1937, was the belief that government's mission is to counterbalance the structural flaws and inequalities of modern industrial capitalism. But in FDR's second term, argues Columbia professor of American history Brinkley (Voices of Protest), this goal was abandoned, and after 1945 liberals turned away from the early New Deal's experiments in statist planning and antimonopoly crusades. Instead, a new liberalism that has since dominated much of American political life embraced the belief that the key to a successful society is economic growth through high consumption. Brinkley identifies the hallmarks of this new liberalism as commitment to a compensatory welfare system, Keynesian fiscal policies for increasing public spending and a ``rights-based'' emphasis on personal liberties and entitlements for various groups. The author provides a revealing look at FDR's inner circle, weighing its members' rhetoric against their accomplishments and against the ideological attenuation of New Deal philosophy. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1995
Release date: 02/01/1995
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-679-75314-8
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-307-80710-6
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17240-7
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