Winter War

Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal


By Eric Rauchway

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The history of the most acrimonious presidential handoff in American history — and of the origins of twentieth-century liberalism and conservatism
<br When Franklin Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election, they represented not only different political parties but vastly different approaches to the question of the day: How could the nation recover from the Great Depression?

As historian Eric Rauchway shows in Winter War, FDR laid out coherent, far-ranging plans for the New Deal in the months prior to his inauguration. Meanwhile, still-President Hoover, worried about FDR’s abilities and afraid of the president-elect’s policies, became the first comprehensive critic of the New Deal. Thus, even before FDR took office, both the principles of the welfare state, and reaction against it, had already taken form.

Winter War reveals how, in the months before the hundred days, FDR and Hoover battled over ideas and shaped the divisive politics of the twentieth century.




AT ABOUT 9:30 P.M. ON February 15, 1933, headlights stabbed into the warm Florida night as cars pulled into Miami’s Bayfront Park, skirting a dense crowd that had gathered to greet the president-elect. Politicians, publishers, and other civic leaders jostled in the throng, hoping that the next time a flashbulb exploded in the dark, it would catch them in the same shot as the smiling, victorious Franklin D. Roosevelt. His open automobile rolled slowly along, allowing him a chance to catch the eager eyes of cheering spectators. They had crammed themselves onto makeshift benches, each little more than a plank set precariously atop two stools, in the hope of seeing the man soon to move into the White House.

At least one of Roosevelt’s aides worried about the threat posed by the teeming masses. Raymond Moley was a Columbia University political science professor and an expert in criminal justice, acting as speechwriter and all-purpose consultant to Roosevelt as a member of the group whom journalists liked to call the Brains Trust. Just now, Moley decided his brief was security, and he said to his neighbors, “This kind of thing scares me to death. How can the Secret Service possibly protect any man with the crowds pressing in…?”1

Politics outweighed such concerns. Although the campaign had ended, the president-elect still needed to keep in contact with the people. Roosevelt’s car came to a halt, and he hiked himself up onto the seat back so he could be seen over the heads of reporters and the microphones and cameras they raised aloft to record him. Paralyzed by polio, Roosevelt often made brief appearances from the back seat of an open car, which saved him the pain and effort of walking and standing atop his wasted legs.

Roosevelt took a microphone and held it in his left hand, camera flashes glittering off the two rings—family signet and plain band—he wore on his pinky. He expressed admiration for the city of Miami and, after saying he looked forward to his next visit, returned the microphone. A radio engineer, caught off guard by the brevity of Roosevelt’s remarks, asked him to repeat them for broadcast, but the president-elect declined, then smiled and waved some more, lowering himself back down into his seat. He had little time: he wanted to catch a northbound train so he could get on with the vital pre-presidential business of choosing his cabinet secretaries.2

The flashbulbs made popping noises akin to the sound of a small pistol. Americans tuning their radios to the event heard the announcer describing the scene, listing off the public figures present: Chicago mayor Tony Cermak, Florida newspaper publisher Bob Gore, Miami mayor Redmond Gautier.… The broadcaster faltered. For a moment the airwaves carried the inarticulate sounds of commotion in the crowd, a woman’s scream—and a new series of sharp sounds, five or maybe six in all. Someone in the darkness was firing a gun.3

Cermak, just a few feet from the president-elect, suddenly lost the ability to stand on his own. A stain began to spread on his shirt, dark rather than red in the dim light. A car door flew open, and someone dragged the wounded Chicago mayor onto the back seat, where the unhurt Roosevelt held Cermak’s head in his lap, feeling for a pulse.4

The assassin was standing on one of those wobbly benches so he could see over the heads of the crowd, and he managed only two passably aimed but unsteady shots before a spectator, Mrs. W. H. Cross, grabbed his arm. He nevertheless continued to pull the trigger, emptying his .32 revolver and hitting four people aside from Cermak before the lawmen reached him. They restrained him and slung his body onto the luggage rack at the rear of a car in the motorcade, clinging to the trunk and holding him in place as the automobiles drove off, to take Cermak to the hospital and the assailant to a cell.5

For a few seconds on that evening, the fate of the New Deal depended on the faulty balance of an unhappy man with a gun. Americans’ various reactions to that close call showed how much they had already invested in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s promised program of recovery, relief, and reform, for which an overwhelming majority had voted the previous autumn. By the middle of that Great Depression winter, people throughout the world, whether they supported or opposed Roosevelt, knew what to expect of his presidency and had laid plans accordingly. That the assassin missed his mark meant that Roosevelt’s ambitious proposals to save the United States from Depression and fascism had survived only this most immediate and dramatic threat. The New Deal still needed to surmount the formidable challenges to the president-elect’s agenda posed by Herbert Hoover, who had two final weeks in the White House, and whose reaction to the near miss was perhaps the most revealing of all.

IF THE SHOOTER’S UNCERTAIN FOOTHOLD and the courageous Mrs. Cross were what had saved the president-elect, it remained unclear what had moved the gunman to endanger Roosevelt in the first place. On arrival at the jail, Ray Moley joined the police officers and their prisoner to help with the interrogation. When he was just a boy, thirty-two years before, Moley had been at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo when a disaffected son of immigrants, an unemployed industrial worker named Leon Czolgosz, fatally shot President William McKinley. Czolgosz was shortly afterward executed without much investigation into his motives. Moley thought that tonight he might get out of this prisoner proper answers, superior to those of decades before, that could explain what had just happened and why.6

From questioning, it emerged that the Miami shooter was an Italian immigrant named Giuseppe Zangara, motivated apparently by a strong desire to kill “big men,” of whom Roosevelt, as president-elect, was now one. Zangara had come to the United States in 1923 and afterward attained citizenship. He was a bricklayer, and a member of the union for his trade and of the Republican Party. And he held politicians and capitalists responsible for the chronic pain he suffered in his stomach.7

Zangara was an unfortunate and unfocused angry man who bought a gun and pointed it at the kind of person whom he blamed for his anguish. As Franklin’s wife Eleanor remarked, when apprised of the episode, “These things are to be expected.” One of these things had put her uncle Theodore in the White House when Czolgosz shot McKinley in 1901; eleven years later, a shooter put a bullet in Theodore’s chest while he was campaigning, only to have the wounded candidate walk onstage to give his speech anyway. Roosevelt family tradition called for cool in the face of political violence, and Franklin could show no less. On arrival at the hospital, he waved off assistance, saying he was “entirely unharmed,” and gave a statement expressing his grief at the injuries to his friends and fellow citizens. His only concession to the incident was to take off his sport coat, which had Cermak’s blood on it. But whereas others present at the shooting stayed up late, smoking and talking to settle their nerves, the president-elect went to bed and slept soundly.8

For Eleanor Roosevelt, calm signified an understanding that the cause she served was larger than herself. For her, and for many other people who then called themselves progressives, Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency would provide access to power. Progressives could use the Roosevelt White House as a platform to get attention for, and action on, their favored causes—better wages, hours, and working conditions for America’s laboring classes—so there would be fewer reasons for men like Giuseppe Zangara to labor under the conviction that their leaders lacked concern for their unhappiness. During the presidential campaign, Eleanor had worked in the Women’s Division of the Democratic National Committee, headed by Mary Williams “Molly” Dewson who, together with her allies, had spent decades fighting for improved labor laws. They had made use of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, and now they would make use of Franklin’s: but if they lost Franklin, they would persist.9

Franklin Roosevelt’s own unflappability had more to do with his concern about conveying confidence in the continued ordinary functioning of American government. He thought that, in that winter of 1933, a great deal depended on his success in providing relief to troubled workers—perhaps as much as the fate of the nation, or even of civilization. Not three weeks before, Adolf Hitler had become chancellor of Germany by rallying citizens to a violent, racist vision of national greatness, and Roosevelt worried that a similar movement could arise in the United States if Americans did not find reason to renew their trust in the institutions that governed them. Too many of them could neither afford a decent life nor find a job. They went hungry while crops rotted unharvested in the fields. They knew something had gone badly wrong somehow. They knew also that Roosevelt had promised a program of relief. He had given them hope, which he understood was a dangerous thing, telling an aide that “disappointed hope” caused destructive revolutions. During the campaign, Roosevelt expressly acknowledged the authoritarian urge many of his fellow Americans were nursing. “Perhaps a Dictator, by suspending legality, could accomplish a ruthless clean-up—but we do not want dictators in the United States,” a Roosevelt essay argued in 1932. “The other penalties of dictatorship are too high.” Another president might not have been so firmly resistant as Roosevelt to the temptation of tyrannical power. Told by a friend that if he succeeded, he would be the greatest president ever to serve, and that if he failed, he would forever be regarded as the worst, he replied, “If I fail, I shall be the last one.” But he kept such apocalyptic worries largely private, believing he should present in public a cheerful faith that democracy would endure.10

The Democrats who had managed Roosevelt’s electoral win could not afford his sublime comfort with whatever fate might befall him. If destiny had removed Roosevelt from the presidency, his worries would have ended while theirs would have just begun. On the evening of the shooting, in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Biltmore Hotel near Grand Central Terminal in New York City, DNC secretary Robert Jackson was listening to the radio and working late on vital political business. (To distinguish this Bob Jackson from the eminent lawyer of the same name, Roosevelt insiders referred to the jurist as “Good Bob Jackson,” while this one—the handler of speakers and donors; the dependable procurer of cash, illegal liquor, and other desirables—they called merely “Bob Jackson.”) Bob Jackson had some lists, compiled by Roosevelt’s chief political aide, Louis Howe. One featured people to recruit for the new administration and the other people to keep away. Jackson had already scored a success from the first list by charming Senator Cordell Hull, Democrat of Tennessee, out of the comforts offered by Congress’s upper chamber into the much more demanding role of secretary of state. Jackson was now working to get the liberal Republican and Roosevelt-backing businessman William Woodin to serve as secretary of the Treasury.

The broadcast of the chaos in Miami distracted Jackson from his task and turned his thoughts to the calamity that he—and, he allowed, the country—had only barely escaped. Less than two weeks ago, he had been in Florida with other DNC operatives, doing deals and drinking liquor bootlegged from Bimini while admiring what he (a thorough diarist) described as “the harmonies of line and coloring exhibited by the young women in scanty bathing suits.” Had Howe not summoned him back to New York, he might have remained with Roosevelt’s party and could have been in the line of fire in Bayfront Park. Even worse for history, Jackson meditated, a taller assassin might not have needed to stand on a shaky bench to see Roosevelt, and might have fatally struck his target. Jackson believed the nation needed what Roosevelt had promised in his New Deal. Jackson called it “a revolution such as can occur only in a fundamentally democratic form of government,” one that would improve the distribution of prosperity without disrupting the machinery of representation and the arrangement of checks and balances that characterized the US Constitution. If Roosevelt went, the hope of such a restrained and saving revolution might go too, and whatever change came next would come with furious violence.11

The form that Roosevelt’s limited revolution would take was plain to see by then. Roosevelt had campaigned on a clear and specific New Deal program of rapid unemployment relief alongside a series of measures for stimulating recovery, as well as economic reform to prevent similar depressions from happening again. Although early in his campaign he offered an inspiriting but vague commitment to “take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something,” he quickly honed his message with the aid of Brains Trusters and DNC officials, delivering a series of speeches, each focused on a single theme. He promised an ambitious program of public works, not only for “immediate relief of the unemployed” but also as a long-term plan for the federal government to hire workers whenever needed, “to secure permanence of employment to the workers of America.” He supported a lower tariff to increase foreign trade, and he said he would achieve this aim through international negotiations. He wanted more federally owned hydroelectric power plants, like the one at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, whose costs would serve as a “yardstick” by which to measure fair prices for electricity. He declared that the federal government should establish a program of subsidies to raise commodity prices, and thus farm incomes; he also supported legislation to create a general inflation of prices. He proposed regulation of stock sales, requiring true and plain declarations of assets and earnings, so that the federal government would ensure “the safety of savings to men and women.” To that end, he added, the law should separate commercial banking from investment banking. In a book of essays, he argued for contributory programs of social insurance against the ills of unemployment and old age. The DNC circulated millions of campaign flyers assuring Americans that Roosevelt stood for minimum wages, maximum hours, and the right to organize. He said he would eliminate “extravagance” in government spending, but also that this commitment ranked lower than his devotion to the New Deal: “There can be no extravagance when starvation is in question.” The voters who chose Roosevelt knew what he had told them he would do. Since winning the election, Roosevelt had renewed his commitments to these pledges and recruited officials who would help him realize these ambitions.12

But if Roosevelt had been killed, his successor would not have been a New Dealer. Roosevelt’s running mate was John N. Garner, a conservative Democrat from Texas. Garner, with the support of the nation’s most influential newspaper publisher and media magnate, William Randolph Hearst, had challenged Roosevelt for the presidential nomination. Hearst campaigned relentlessly for Garner, telling his audience of millions that, in contrast to the liberal and internationalist Roosevelt, the Texan would stand for (using Hearst’s preferred slogan) “America First.” In the Democratic primary campaigns, Garner won his home state and, with the help of California senator William McAdoo, the Golden State as well. At the Democratic National Convention, to secure the nomination and also to placate Hearst, Roosevelt accepted a deal: Garner would surrender his delegates to Roosevelt, while Roosevelt would make Garner his vice-presidential candidate—and thus a potential president.13

Reflecting on the near miss in Miami, Bob Jackson wrote, “What a gamble is our life!” Thinking about where Roosevelt had been sitting in relation to those unfortunate souls who were shot, Jackson figured the bullets had missed the president-elect “only by a foot or two, perhaps by inches.” That little leeway allowed Roosevelt to proceed toward an inheritance of daunting scope. Jackson marveled at the tasks Roosevelt would have to master at home and abroad. “The world situation is no better than here in the United States. The Japs are attacking China. In Germany… the upstart Hitler, the rabble-rouser… is now Chancellor and demanding powers that will make him a dictator.… Such is the chaos that confronts Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If he is to bring order from it he must be Mr. Valiant and more.”14

As the historian William Dodd—whom Roosevelt would appoint as ambassador to Hitler’s Germany—wrote just after the shooting, the assassination attempt made him wonder “whether the chapter of accidents was not as important as any of the other influences operating in human behavior.… You can see on what narrow margins even the most certain of American fortunes often turn.” The difference between a New Deal and none could be measured by the length of a person’s arm—and if the president-elect had been sitting that short distance away, his concerns about the growing threat of fascism would have been replaced by Hearstian America First-ism in a Garner presidency, which would have lent force to reactionary politics within the United States and interfered little with right-wing movements overseas. Roosevelt’s policies would have perished unborn, an abrupt termination that would have thwarted the expectations of American voters who placed their hopes in the New Deal—and also of those who, like the sitting president, feared it.15

HERBERT HOOVER AND HIS STAFF could scarcely believe the news of the Miami shooting. Theodore Joslin, the president’s press secretary, wrote that Hoover was “shocked, literally shouting, ‘What, are you sure?’” The Republicans were surprised not because they failed to expect violence, but because they expected it to come from the political left, and to target Hoover. As Joslin wrote, “The marvel… is that this is the first attempted assassination” of the Depression. He and other White House staff were sure that Communist agitators would take advantage of unemployment to foment revolution. Indeed, they were so sure of it that, in the summer of 1932, the administration had dispatched General Douglas MacArthur and the army to burn out and drive off an encampment of jobless veterans, thousands of whom had assembled in Washington to demand unemployment relief. And they were sure of it in the fall, too, when the Secret Service informed them that another group of Communist-inspired protesters—a group whose leaders Roosevelt had peaceably met—hid among their number a suicide bomber who, Joslin wrote, “had sticks of dynamite tied to his body… and was determined to get into the White House” to murder the president.16

Hoover was sure that the New Deal was bringing communism to America. He could smell it. He told voters during the campaign that Roosevelt’s program exuded the “fumes of the witch’s caldron which boiled in Russia and in its attenuated flavor spread over the whole of Europe.” He opposed the measures Roosevelt put forth, including lower tariffs, public power, and unemployment relief. But he was most appalled by Roosevelt’s proposed program of public works, which he said would not only “break down the savings, the wages, the equality of opportunity among our people,” but also “break down our form of government. It would crack the timbers of our Constitution.… Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die.” The contest between him and Roosevelt, Hoover warned, was between “the America which we have known in the past” and a dangerously novel system that would be “ruinous to agriculture and industry alike.” He stood before the electorate promising to protect them not merely from wrong-headed policies, but from “a social philosophy different from the traditional philosophies of the American people.” He told the public that the “so-called new deals [sic] would destroy the very foundations of the American system of life.”17

The voters had not heeded these warnings, but Hoover continued to believe them. After the election, in a series of meetings and messages, he tried to persuade Roosevelt to abandon the New Deal, which Hoover remained sure could lead only to catastrophe. Moley, after accompanying Roosevelt to one of these meetings with Hoover, observed afterward that the defeated president looked ill, even “close to death,” but nevertheless seemed determined to keep “going on and on, driven by some damned duty.” Moley’s fellow Brains Truster, the economist Rexford Tugwell, knew what Hoover thought this duty was: “To minimize as far as he could the disaster to the nation involved in the Roosevelt accession.”18

President Hoover understood he would have to move carefully: he could not oppose too obviously the program on which his successor had been elected. He paid tribute, in a speech just two days before the shooting, to “the transcendent importance of popular government,” acknowledging that “the people determined the election” and saying he could therefore “have no complaint.” But he continued to promote policies opposite to the New Deal, arguing for a balanced budget and against raising prices, and he repeatedly pressed Roosevelt to renounce his New Deal proposals, especially the ones for extensive public works and federal employment.19

Once the shock of the shooting subsided, Hoover returned to this strategy of openly submitting to the verdict of the ballot box while subtly seeking to overturn it. He told Joslin to “telephone Miami for first hand information so as to show his concern” for Roosevelt. He ordered more Secret Service guards to protect the president-elect. Then he wrote Roosevelt a personal letter, including one sentence “to express my satisfaction at your escape” after nine pages urging Roosevelt to renounce the New Deal. In a letter to a friend, Hoover explained he was trying to get Roosevelt to give up on the “so-called new deal” so the Democrat would enter the presidency having “ratified the whole major program of the Republican Administration.”20

Roosevelt understood what Hoover wanted and would do no such thing. He had pledged himself to a New Deal, and he had made it clear to voters what this New Deal would include. Americans voted him into office with the expectation that he would make good on his promises. He sincerely believed that if he did not, his fellow countrymen might follow the Germans’ lead and in their desperation destroy the democracy that, they would have reason to believe, had failed them. With Roosevelt’s survival, the New Deal had evaded a sudden death. It had still to survive a few more weeks of Hoover’s slower, smiling, but no less hostile antagonism before Roosevelt could, as president, begin.

By late February, Hoover knew he could rely on Roosevelt’s refusal to acquiesce, because the Democrat had repeatedly stood his ground since the election. Hoover also knew that by continuing to beg Roosevelt to return to economic orthodoxy, he was building a narrative that the Republicans—whose leader he was determined to remain—could use in the future, once the New Deal had inevitably led to disaster. In Hoover’s story, the foolish New Dealer had been given every chance to come to his senses but had each time declined. Therefore, once Roosevelt plainly failed, Hoover would be revealed as the martyr he was, the prophet unappreciated in his own country but now by history redeemed, and then the people would return him to the presidency.

History did not quite work out as Hoover hoped, but he succeeded in a cause larger than his own personal restoration to power. He would never again lead the Republican Party. But the central idea he crafted in the campaign—that the New Deal was no mere error, but a dangerously alien program engrafted onto the American political system that would, if indulged, destroy and supplant its host—became, owing in large part to his efforts, a conservative article of faith and an abiding Republican principle. As Hoover put it, if the Republicans had an “Ark of the Covenant,” an unremitting opposition to the New Deal would be graven, still discernible, on the divine fragments within. After his electoral loss, he set about ensuring institutional support for this notion, seeking to create a conservative media, inculcate young Republicans into his beliefs, and ensure that party leaders supported his views.21

Over the years, Hoover’s version of Republicanism gained adherents, owing not least to the ex-president’s persistence. He insisted, over and over, that he had been the victim only of bad timing. In November 1932, eleven million Americans were out of work, crop prices were at record lows, and banks were going bust—but the economy had, he claimed, just turned around: “The depression reached its turning point in the Spring of 1932… [recovery] started up under our ‘Old Deal.’ The election is what set us back, and I don’t say that out of partisanship.” Only the cruel clockwork of the US election cycle had put the New Deal in power and America at risk. Hoover described Roosevelt’s policies as both “socialism” and as “fascist”; he said the new president was leading the nation on a “march to Moscow.” The New Deal posed, Hoover wrote in a 1934 book, a fundamental “challenge to liberty.” At the time, with the economy recovering swiftly and Americans going back to work, it sounded extreme and evidently wrong. But with time, Republicans began to come around to Hoover’s views. One early convert was Barry Goldwater, who took Hoover’s enmity for the New Deal as the foundation of his “basic thinking.” Another was Richard Nixon. Eventually, thanks to the fight mounted in the bitterest Depression winter by the man whom Time was then derisively describing as “President Reject,” Hooverism became central to Republicanism.22

THE CLASH OVER THE NEW Deal in the winter of 1932–1933 proved of vital and enduring importance, as it forced both sides to defend and elaborate the stances they took during the campaign. Two crises erupted during these months: one domestic, largely to do with banks within the United States and confidence in the dollar; one foreign, deriving from the increased power of aggressive dictators overseas. Both required thoughtful Americans to clarify their positions and shift their priorities—but not to alter their principles. Amid these fresh emergencies, Roosevelt’s liberalism and strategy for recovery became more clearly anti-fascist, while Hoover’s conservatism became more plainly anti–New Deal. In identifying these ideological opposites, each targeted what he considered an existential threat to civilization.

This foundational struggle over first principles, which affected the rest of the century, was possible only because each side made its positions plain to the other. Herbert Hoover could stand firmly against the New Deal only because he knew so well what was in it. As he wrote on February 22, 1933, “There is constant promise” of New Deal policies and reason to fear that Roosevelt, when his presidency began in ten days, would begin to fulfill them.23


  • "A crisp narrative of the four-month interregnum between Franklin D. Roosevelt's victory in November 1932 and his assumption of the presidency in March 1933."—The Atlantic
  • "Rauchway paints a vivid picture of what that looks like as he describes the Herculean efforts of outgoing Herbert Hoover to thwart incoming Franklin Roosevelt's 'New Deal.'"—New York Journal of Books
  • "Though scholars have not ignored those four months, the period was a spectacularly eventful one that deserves closer attention. Rauchway ... does just that in this lively, opinionated, and definitely not revisionist history."—Kirkus
  • "The book showcases strong scholarship, including deep engagement with archival materials, that a general audience can appreciate. This is an informative and readable history."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Not since the secession winter of 1860-61 had American democracy seemed so imperiled. Yet the interregnum between Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt has been largely overlooked by historians. Eric Rauchway remedies this lack in a riveting, thought-provoking book that is especially valuable at a time when political emotions are again running high."—H.W. Brands, author of Heirs of the Founders
  • "Winter War is a vivid narrative about the critical debate that took place at the pit of the Great Depression between presidents with starkly different visions of the nation's future. You can hear the echoes of FDR vs. Hoover blaring out from every cable news channel today. Eric Rauchway, one of America's best political historians, has written a wise story about the past that anyone who cares about the divide between progressives and conservatives should read."—Michael Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University and author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918
  • "Presidential transitions matter. This brilliant book describes how the transition from Herbert Hoover to Franklin Roosevelt changed the world, and how it almost did not happen. The author explains why the trenchant debates around the New Deal still resonate in our current partisanship. Every citizen concerned about political leadership should read this book."—Jeremi Suri, author of The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office
  • "In this brilliant new book, Eric Rauchway provides powerful new insights about the making and the meaning of the New Deal. In the end, Winter War will change not just what we thought we knew about Hoover and Roosevelt, but how we have understood the origins of modern conservatism itself."—Kevin M. Kruse, author of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

On Sale
Nov 20, 2018
Page Count
304 pages
Basic Books

Eric Rauchway

About the Author

Eric Rauchway is a distinguished historian and expert on the Progressive and New Deal eras at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of several acclaimed books on the subject, including The Money Makers, The Great Depression and the New Deal, and Blessed Among Nations, and has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, Dissent, and the American Prospect. He lives in Davis, California.

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