New Deal or Raw Deal?
by Burton Folsom
Franklin D. Roosevelt has one of the most untouchable legacies of any American president, especially among those in the political left wing. One of the primary reasons for this was FDR’s handling of the Great Depression, his New Deal. History textbooks are rife with the account of how he rescued the nation from an economic malaise created and perpetuated by laissez faire policies before and after the onset of the Great Depression. The problem with this account, says Burt Folsom, is that it just isn’t true. Far from rescuing the country from the Depression, Folsom shows how the New Deal prolonged it. Along the way FDR restricted competition, undermined employment, bought off and strong-armed voters, spied on his enemies and put into place destructive policies that we still have not escaped from. Folsom succeeds in his primary objective, dismantling the myth of FDR as the nation’s savior.
Praise for New Deal or Raw Deal?
“Folsom peels away the parchment wrapping the Roosevelt myth to reveal the flawed figure beneath.” – National Review
“Professor Burt Folsom has produced a highly readable book and has done a yeoman’s job in exposing the New Deal.” – Walter Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, George Mason University
What to Read Next
Folsom’s book is a valuable resource for a thorough analysis of FDR and the New Deal. With that said, Folsom’s explanation for the onset of the Depression leaves out the role that the Federal Reserve played in generating the boom. Robert Murphy’s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and New Deal gives a fantastic overview of this, which is expounded upon in Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression.
Please click here for my full review of this book.