Shlaes also traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers themselves as they discovered their errors. She shows how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920s and heaped massive burdens on the country that more than offset the benefit of New Deal programs.
The real question about the Depression, she argues, is not whether Roosevelt ended it with World War II. It is why the Depression lasted so long. From 1929 to 1940, federal intervention helped to make the Depression great, in part by forgetting the men and women who sought to help one another. The Forgotten Man, offers a new look at one of the most important periods in our history, allowing us to understand the strength of the American character today.
©2007 Amity Shlaes; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"A thoughtful, even-tempered corrective to too often unbalanced celebrations of FDR and his administration's pathbreaking policies." (Publishers Weekly)
A fascinating run through the key players in and around the White House during the period leading up to and during the depression. Such notables as Father Coughlin, Guy Tugwell, Father Divine, and many others are profiled, in chronological sequence. The author provides background on each notable figure. Several major legal challenges to FDR policies are also detailed. I found myself cheering when the Schecter brothers won their case, as though it had just happened.
The Forgotten Man is the perfect book for the times we are in now. It reminds us of the lessons this country learned the hard way through the 1930s. Many of those lessons are not being taught in today's schools. This book lends credence the same philosophy my college economics professor taught. That philosophy is that no one can spend and borrow their way to prosperity. Ms. Shlaes' book taught me that in the 1930s is was possible to go to jail for selecting a specific live chicken for sale rather then grabbing the closest one to the door. She showed us what happens to common stock holders like you and I when government competes against private companies. To compare what happened through the 1930s to what is happening now is frightening. Everyone should read this (or listen to) this book.
Shlaes does a great job of explaining what you will never learn in Public Schools. Don’t be fooled by people who call this “revisionist”. As you read it you also see a lot of similarities in the legislation and arguments that are being used today. Unfortunately some don’t learn what history has to teach.
This book attempts to reform history to fit a particular political narrative.
It is propaganda. As propaganda, i found it kind of interesting. As a history, though, it is shockingly sparse. Your understanding of the Great Depression will be seriously incomplete if you only "read" this book.
The author tell a believable story if you are willing to forget and ignore all the history you have read in the last 75 years. This is a big time revision of the work of many scholars and real historians over the decades. According to the author, any thing good that came out of the New Deal was suggested or "hoped for" by Hoover, and the rest was pushed on the country by a brain trust coomprised of communists and fellow travelers. I walk out of bad movies and I didn't finish part 2. I concede the author put in a lot of research to find material that could be stretched and twisted to further her agenda, and there are a lot of conservatives out there (Bush's 27%)to gobble it up.
This book is over 14 hours in length and is just too lengthy for me. The author is very thorough, describing every aspect of the movers and shakers of the day, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was a bit less descriptive.
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