9780809015603

FDR: The First Hundred Days

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780809015603

  • ISBN10:

    0809015609

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-06-09
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang
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Summary

The Hundred Days, Franklin Roosevelt's first fifteen weeks in office, have become the stuff of legend, a mythic yardstick against which every subsequent American president has felt obliged to measure himself. The renowned historian Anthony J. Badger cuts through decades of politicized history to provide a succinct, balanced, and timely reminder that Roosevelt's accomplishment was above all else an exercise in exceptional political craftsmanship. Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933 confronting 25 percent unemployment, bank closings, and a nationwide crisis in confidence. From March 9 to June 16, FDR secured sixteen major bills, many of which gave extraordinary discretionary power to the president. From legalizing the sale of beer to providing mortgage relief to millions of Americans, Roosevelt launched the New Deal that conservatives have been working to roll back ever since. Reintroducing the contingency that marked those fateful days, Badger humanizes Roosevelt and suggests a far more useful yardstick for future presidents: the politics of the possible under the guidance of principle. Anthony J. Badgeris Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University and Master of Clare College. He is the author of a number of books, includingNorth Carolina and the New DealandThe New Deal: The Depression Years, 19331940. The Hundred Days, Franklin Roosevelt's first fifteen weeks in office, have become a yardstick against which every subsequent American president has felt obliged to measure himself. The historian Anthony J. Badger cuts through decades of politicized history to provide a succinct, balanced, and timely reminder that Roosevelt's accomplishment during that time was above all else an exercise in exceptional political craftsmanship. Declaring that Americans had "nothing to fear but fear itself," Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933 confronting 25 percent unemployment, bank closings, and a nationwide crisis in confidence. From March 9 to June 16, FDR sent Congress a record number of bills, all of which passed easily. From legalizing the sale of beer to providing mortgage relief to millions of Americans, Roosevelt launched the New Deal that conservatives have been working to roll back ever since. Badger emphasizes Roosevelt's political gifts even as the president and his brain trust of advisers, guided by principles, largely felt out their way toward solutions to the nation's manifold problems. Reintroducing the contingency that marked those fateful days, Badger humanizes Roosevelt and suggests a more useful and realistic yardstick for future presidents: the politics of the possible under the guidance of principle. "A brilliantly written, compelling and moving portrait . . . [and] a classic example of how a work of history can illuminate the issues we're dealing with today."Prime Minister Gordon Brown,The Guardian"One book I've been recommending to friends and colleagues lately is Tony Badger's new book on Roosevelt,FDR: The First 100 Days. It's a classic example of how a work of history can illuminate the issues we're dealing with today. What it brings out with such clarity is how Roosevelt, faced with an economic crisis of unprecedented severity, was prepared to put aside conventional policy approaches and, instead, had the courage to innovate and improvise to see what would work. The imagination and humanity at the heart of some of the great New Deal innovationssuch as the Tennessee Valley Authority or the Civilian Conservation Corpschanged American politics for ever, and shaped the future of progressive politics acros

Author Biography

Anthony J. Badger is Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University and Master of Clare College. He is the author of a number of books, including North Carolina and the New Deal and The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933–1940.

Table of Contents

Time Linep. ix
Introductionp. xi
The Problem and the Playersp. 3
Ten Days That Opened the Banksp. 23
First Prioritiesp. 47
Industrial Recovery: The Belated Priorityp. 83
The Progressive Impulsep. 109
The International Optionp. 135
Conclusionp. 151
Bibliographical Essayp. 175
Acknowledgmentsp. 185
Indexp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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