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.
"Patel's story will become the definitive account. . . . An impressive, thought-provoking narrative of the New Deal. . . . Patel raised important questions for historians to consider as they continue to grapple with this period of American history and as they, more generally, attempt to argue when and how the global matters."--Meg Jacobs, American Historical Review
"Impressive. . . . Patel traces with unprecedented detail the intense international exchange and ‘transnational learning and linking' that shaped the Roosevelt administration's responses to the global crisis of capitalism and democracy in the 1930s."--Ira Katznelson, Foreign Affairs
"Skillfully combining an original approach, comprehensive information and surprising anecdotes, Patel’s book contributes to the critical reassessment of a key moment in recent US history."--Giovanni Bernardini, Corriere della Sera
"A compelling argument that is profoundly relevant to the twenty-first century."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post
"Those in search of an up-to-date New Deal primer that pays special attention to international connections will find Patel’s results extremely useful. The book’s fantastic bibliography alone, covering works in no fewer than seven languages, is worth the price of the volume."--Brooke L. Blower, Journal of American History
"A deep, scholarly dive into the New Deal"--Kirkus
"Patel presents exhaustive and valuable factual comparisons of the New Deal with various other country policies in the 1930s."--Choice
"A rich account of facts that shows in detail the unfolding and the impact of the New Deal."--Stefano Solari, History of Economic Thought and Policy
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