FDRs Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

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Tragedies are brought upon ourselves by hubris. Jim Powell has proven this. I think he has written an important story, one that definitely needs telling. He lets the history do the talking.


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Along the way, Powell gives fascinating thumbnail sketches of the major players. The result is a devastating indictment, compellingly told.

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FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

Those who think that government intervention helped get the U. Folsom writes that from time to time Roosevelt admitted that he lied, although he argued that it was necessary p.

One can only conclude, after reading this evidence, that Roosevelt was interested in transforming the U. In a few places, the book might have been strengthened.

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These policies are obviously important and would have promoted recovery if enacted. Discussion of the impact of these programs and laws would have strengthened this chapter. A stronger conclusion, a stronger summing up, would have been appreciated.

Of course, almost every reviewer finds something to criticize or something to wish for in any book reviewed. We can only hope that this growing literature leads to a correction of the prevailing story of FDR and the New Deal.

FDR's folly : how Roosevelt and his New Deal prolonged the Great Depression

As we know, however, myths die hard. Gene Smiley. Gene Smiley , Marquette University. In this administration, no House Republican voted for the initial stimulus and both parties continue to escalate their rhetoric as the November elections approach.


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  • Regarding the political impact of delivering stimulus funds through state and local governments, rather than directly through the federal government:. The President's ability to deliver rests on the shoulders of thousands of non-federal implementers, all with different priorities and capabilities. Most critically, the responsibility for the outcome of the programs is highly dispersed and there's no clear line of sight for the public to attribute credit to the President, particularly since the Governor, mayor and other political figures are likely to be competing for public approbation.

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