New Deal Book Reviews

The New Deal: A Modern History

This lively and engaging survey of the New Deal is written by Pulitzer Prize winning Los Angeles Times journalist Michael Hiltzik, a financial and political writer for the newspaper. The twists and turns of the New Deal era serve as… read more

The Worst Hard Time

The earliest reports of major dust storms in the Great Plains were dismissed in the East. Descriptions of great clouds of dust wiping paint right off buildings seemed simply unimaginable. Even in the Plains, as dust storms began to emerge,… read more

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Between the start of the Great Depression and the early years of the New Deal, the author of this book – Studs Terkel (1912-2008) – was a young man working in his parent’s Chicago boarding hotel. Although he later completed… read more

The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War

The End of Reform offers a detailed and probing account of New Deal Liberalism from its origins as a political concept through the many bumpy efforts at legislating these ideas into practice. Historian Alan Brinkley suggests that the New Deal was not just… read more

Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America

Soul of a People tells the story of a vital component of the much larger Works Progress Administration – the Federal Writers’ Project. The Federal Writers’ Project recruited jobless intellectuals from the millions of unemployed workers during the Great Depression, assigning them… read more

To The City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal

Our view of the 1930s in the United States was profoundly shaped by photography. The image of “Migrant Mother,” captured by Dorothea Lange in 1936 while working with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) provides just one example of New Deal… read more

Long-Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal

This is the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the New Deal galaxy, an essential book for anyone seeking to understand the varied roles of the New Deal alphabet soup agencies that successfully fought the Great Depression by creating millions of jobs… read more

The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction

In what is indeed a very short introduction, Eric Rauchway presents students of twentieth century history a clear and concise overview of the Great Depression and New Deal. This installment of the Oxford University Press’s extensive “Short Introduction” series offers a useful beginners’… read more

Norvelt: A New Deal Subsistence Homestead

In 1933, the town of Norvelt became the fourth of 99 planned subsistence homestead communities subsidized by the federal government as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act for dislocated miners and industrial workers. The American Field Service Committee was… read more

She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker

‘Nowhere was Eleanor Roosevelt’s democratic vision more evident than in her lifelong commitment to the American labor movement. Thanks to Brigid O’Farrell’s fine book, Roosevelt’s legacy serves as a challenge and an inspiration to new generations in their quest for… read more