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For the survival of democracy : Franklin Roosevelt and the world crisis of the 1
Hamby, Alonzo L.
Adult Nonfiction E806 .H293 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

It may be hard to believe that there's anything new to say about the place of FDR's New Deal in American and world history. But Hamby (Beyond the New Deal, etc.) does so in this sobering account of how well the U.S. managed its affairs during the Great Depression. What makes Hamby's approach fresh is his comparisons among the U.S. and the world's other great economic powers at the time, Great Britain and Germany. In the midst of an international whirlwind, each country went its own, nationalistic way. But as Hamby shows, their independent approaches to a universal crisis yielded benefits that go-it-alone policies now probably can't yield. In fact, while by 1940 both Britain and Germany had recovered from the Depression, the U.S. had not, despite FDR's huge efforts. The cost of recovery to Germany and the world of course was Nazism, war and genocide. Britain's integrity was better spared, and its social programs grew. But the U.S.? Hamby credits FDR with saving American democracy if not its economy, which was saved by the war. The president thus made possible the survival of free government elsewhere. The author's clarity and balance of judgment are marred somewhat with a cascade of facts. But his characterizations of people are always deft and occasionally surprising. He revives the reputation of Britain's Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and even has good things to say of the often reviled Neville Chamberlain. But at the center of this somewhat old-fashioned political and economic history is FDR's leadership. And that's what will draw readers to this solid, authoritative history. (Jan. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Most American history is written as just that, American history. Here, historian Hamby (Ohio Univ.; Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman) has refocused a familiar picture, Franklin Roosevelt's reckoning with both the Great Depression and the rise of totalitarianism, using a lens showing parallel events in Great Britain and Germany, where economic recovery preceded the onset of war, in contrast to the record of the New Deal. More critical than most historians of FDR, Hamby nonetheless finds Roosevelt "democracy's most dynamic force in a menacing decade." Full of insights of all sorts, Hamby's book, as in his past work, rises to sheer excellence in its sketches of the era's surpassing political figures, from those whose names are synonyms for immeasurable evil-G?ring, Goebbels, and Hitler himself-to those whose records are less easily tallied, such as Churchill, Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, Harry Hopkins, Frances Perkins, Henry Wallace, and others in the cast led by Roosevelt. Highly recommended for all libraries. [This book works well as a complement to Conrad Black's recent Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom.-Ed.]-Robert F. Nardini, Chichester, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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