The New Deal: A Global History provides a radically new interpretation of a pivotal period in US history. The first comprehensive study of the New Deal in a global context, the book compares American responses to the international crisis of capitalism and democracy during the 1930s to responses by other countries around the globe—not just in Europe but also in Latin America, Asia, and other parts of the world. Work creation, agricultural intervention, state planning, immigration policy, the role of mass media, forms of political leadership, and new ways of ruling America’s colonies—all had parallels elsewhere and unfolded against a backdrop of intense global debates.
By avoiding the distortions of American exceptionalism, Kiran Klaus Patel shows how America’s reaction to the Great Depression connected it to the wider world. Among much else, the book explains why the New Deal had enormous repercussions on China; why Franklin D. Roosevelt studied the welfare schemes of Nazi Germany; and why the New Dealers were fascinated by cooperatives in Sweden—but ignored similar schemes in Japan.
Ultimately, Patel argues, the New Deal provided the institutional scaffolding for the construction of American global hegemony in the postwar era, making this history essential for understanding both the New Deal and America’s rise to global leadership.
Kiran Klaus Patel is the Jean Monnet Professor of European and Global History at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. His books include Soldiers of Labor: Labor Service in Nazi Germany and New Deal America, 1933–1945, and he has edited a number of volumes, including The United States and Germany during the Twentieth Century.
"A deep, scholarly dive into the New Deal"--Kirkus
"A compelling argument that is profoundly relevant to the twenty-first century."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post
"The first book to globalize the history of the New Deal, this is an amazing tour de force with fresh insights on virtually every page. Many historians will wish they had written it."--Akira Iriye, Harvard University
"This indispensable book reveals the national, comparative, and global dimensions of the Great Depression and New Deal. Attentive to the global circuitry of policy options and supported by a vast knowledge of other national responses, Kiran Klaus Patel transforms our understanding of the formation and nationalist shape of the New Deal. One cannot claim to understand the New Deal without reading this book."--Thomas Bender, author of A Nation Among Nations: America’s Place in World History
"Kiran Klaus Patel boldly advances the effort to transnationalize historians’ understanding of the New Deal, convincingly demonstrating the need to understand the United States in the 1930s as embedded in a larger world confronting a shared crisis. This formidable book decisively challenges exceptionalist claims about mid-twentieth-century reform in the United States."--Paul A. Kramer, author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines
"A stunning world tour, full of surprises and insights into government action in the 1930s in many nations and across a vast policy terrain. This is comparative and transnational history at its best."--Gary Gerstle, author of Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present
Table of Contents:
A Global Crisis 10
A Fragile Boom 10
The Crisis and Its Origins 24
In Search of New Beginnings 45
Setting Stages 45
Many New Deals 56
Planning and Mobilization 90
Into the Vast External Realm 121
Gold, Silver, and Other Bombs 121
Good Neighbors 139
Borders, Hard and Soft 171
Redefining Boundaries 190
Deeper into the Alphabet Soup 190
Broadening Security 218
Roads Traveled, Built, and Untraveled 242
The American World Order 261
The New Deal State at War 261
A Global Legacy 278