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NEW DEALERS MUGGED BY REALITY.

There's accumulating evidence that the technocratic policies begun during the Hoover administration and expanded by the Roosevelt administration deepened, or, at best, failed to ameliorate, the Great Depression. Amity Shlaes's The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, will provide background for that evidence, without providing the statistical or economic analysis itself. Thus for a short Book Review No. 29: more than a few of the technocrats visited the Soviet Union in the 1920s only to revise their impressions of that technocratic nightmare later; more than a few of the people demonized by the Administration (the enemies list, or "they bring a knife, we bring a gun" are for the future) come off as sympathetic characters, and Wendell Willkie emerges as sympathizer-turned-skeptic. The forgotten man of the title is the individual who must contribute to the efforts of the government to do well by somebody else. In Randian terms, one could substitute Blank-out. For all of that, the focus is on principal actors, and there is, in common with many of the Civil War histories, an appendix with what-happened-after-1940 stories for those actors.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

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