In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review), Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of 20th century American history and demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner. Through mechanisms designed by southern democrats that specifically excluded maids and farm workers, the gap between blacks and whites actually widened despite postwar prosperity.
Redefining our traditional understanding of the New Deal, Fear Itself finally examines this pivotal American era through a sweeping international lens that juxtaposes a struggling democracy with enticing ideologies like Fascism and Communism. Ira Katznelson, "a towering figure in the study of American and European history" (Cornel West), boldly asserts that, during the 1930s and 1940s, American democracy was rescued yet distorted by a unified band of southern lawmakers who safeguarded racial segregation as they built a new national state to manage capitalism and assert global power.
"History in Context of Political Science Analysis"
World history is at least as old as Herodotus and Thucydides, but self-conscious "global history" is a recent development in the academy. More than a hundred books with those words in the title have been published this century, up from a handful in the prior two decades and zero before that. At their best, such studies are able to see past the limits of national histories, exploring the interconnections and flows of people, goods, ideas, and events across time and space.