The massive depression of the 1930's detonated the crisis between harsh reality and the vision of material abundance and economic security created by the American industrial order. Amid widespread poverty there was increasing concentration of economic power and loss of individual initiative. Professor Hawley traces the pattern of this conflict. He analyzes the National Recovery Administration, the sources and nature of the antitrust ideology, the rise of Keynesianism, the confusion within the Roosevelt Administration during the recession of 1937-38, and the government career of Thurman Arnold. Attention is given to the administrators of the New Deal and to the beliefs, pressures, and symbols that affected their policy decisions. How and why these ideas and pressures produced policies that were economically inconsistent yet politically workable is also explained.
Originally published in 1966.
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