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Reading Lists by Topic

We have prepared selective short lists by topic of books on the New Deal. Click on any topic to open the list. Titles with an asterisk are a good place to start. Lists can be downloaded individually or download all.  (Longer topical bibliographies can be found here.)

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New Deal Overviews book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Alter, Jonathan2007The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of HopeSimon & SchusterNew York, NY
Badger, Anthony2002The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940Ivan R. DeeChicago, IL
Bindas, Kenneth J.2022The New Deal and American Society, 1933-1941RoutledgeNew York, NY
Chafe, William, Ed 2003The Achievement of American Liberalism: The New Deal and Its LegaciesColumbia U. PressNew York, NY
Collins, Sheila and Gertrude Goldberg, Eds2014When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New DealOxford U. Press New York, NY
Edsforth, Ronald 2000The New Deal: America’s Response to the Great DepressionBlackwell PublishersEdinburgh, UK
Fraser, Steve & Gary Gerstle1989The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980Princeton U. PressPrinceton, NJ
Hiltzik, Michael 2011The New Deal: A Modern History Free Press New York, NY
Leuchtenburg, William1997The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His LegacyColumbia U. PressNew York, NY
*Rauchway, Eric2021Why the New Deal MattersYale U. Press New Haven, CT
Schlesinger Arthur1958The Coming of the New Deal: 1933-1935 (Reprint 2003)Mariner BooksBoston, MA
*Smith, Jason Scott2014A Concise History of the New DealCambridge U. PressNew York, NY
Watkins, T.H.1993The Great Depression: America in the 1930sLittle BrownBoston, MA

FDR and the New Dealers book list.

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The New Deal and Politics book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Brinkley, Alan2009Franklin Delano RooseveltOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Cook, Blanche Weisen2000Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 2: The Defining Years: 1933-1938Penguin PressNew York, NY
Clarke, Jeanne1996Roosevelt’s Warrior: Harold L. Ickes and the New DealJohns Hopkins U. PressBaltimore, MD
DeMasi, Susan Rubenstein 2016Henry Alsberg: The Driving Force of the New Deal Federal Writers’ ProjectMcFarlandJefferson, NC
Downey, Kirstin 2009The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience Nan Talese New York, NY
Freidel, Frank1990Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Rendezvous with DestinyLittle BrownBoston, MA
Hopkins, June1999Harry Hopkins: Sudden Hero, Brash ReformerSt. Martin’s PressNew York, NY
*Leuchtenburg, William1963Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-40 Harper Books New York, NY
Long, Nancy Ann Zrinyi 2004The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune Florida Hist. Soc. Press Cocoa, FL
Perkins, Frances1946The Roosevelt I Knew (Reprint Edition 2011)Penguin ClassicsNew York, NY
Rozell, Mark1997FDR and the Modern Presidency: Leadership and LegacyPraegerWestport, CT
Scroop, Daniel 2006Mr. Democrat: Jim Farley, the New Deal, and the Making of Modern American PoliticsU. Michigan Press Ann Arbor, MI
Ware, Susan1981Beyond Suffrage: Women and the New DealHarvard U. PressCambridge, MA

The New Deal and the Economy book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Amenta, Edwin 2006When Movements Matter: The Townsend Plan and the Rise of Social SecurityPrinceton U. PressPrinceton, NJ
Benson, Thomas 2006American Rhetoric in the New Deal Era, 1932-1945 Michigan State U.E. Lansing, MI
Domhoff, William and Michael Webber2011Class and Power In The New Deal: Corporate Moderates, Southern Democrats, and the Liberal-Labor Coalition Stanford U. PressStanford, CA
Katznelson, Ira 2013Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time Liveright PublishingNew York, NY
*Lawson, Alan2006A Commonwealth of Hope: The New Deal Response to CrisisJohns Hopkins U. PressBaltimore, MD
Ortiz, Stephen2010Beyond the Bonus March and GI Bill: How Veteran Politics Shaped the New Deal EraNew York U. PressNew York, NY
Rauchway, Eric2018Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, And The First Clash Over The New DealBasic BooksNew York, NY
Schwarz, Jordan1993The New Dealers: Power Politics in the Age of RooseveltAlfred A. KnopfNew York, NY
Storrs, Landon 2013The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left Princeton U. PressPrinceton, NJ
Sunstein, Cass 2004The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than EverBasic BooksNew York, NY
Wall, Wendy 2008Inventing the “American Way”: The Politics of Consensus from the New Deal to the Civil Rights MovementOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Williams, Mason 2013City of Ambition: FDR, LaGuardia and the Making of Modern New YorkNortonNew York, NY

The New Deal and Race book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Badger, Anthony2002The New Deal: The Depression Year, 1933-1940Ivan R. DeeChicago, IL
Barber, William1996Designs Within Disorder: Franklin D Roosevelt, the Economists, and the Shaping of American Economic Policy, 1933-1945Cambridge U. PressNew York, NY
Bordo, Michael, Claudia Goldin and Eugene White, Eds.1998The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth CenturyU. of Chicago PressChicago, IL
Cohen, Lizabeth2003A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption In Postwar AmericaAlfred A. KnopfNew York, NY
Field, Alexander 2011A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic GrowthYale U. Press New Haven, CT
Himmelberg, Robert201The Great Depression and the New DealGreenwood PressWestport, CT
McElvaine, Robert1993The Great Depression in America, 1929-1942Penguin PressNew York, NY
*Rauchway, Eric2008The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short IntroductionOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Romanesco, Albert1983The Politics of Recovery: Roosevelt's New DealOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Thorndike, Joseph 2013Their Fair Share: Taxing the Rich in the Age of FDR Urban Institute PressWashington, DC

The New Deal and Conservation book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Brown, Nikki 2006Private Politics and Public Voices: Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal Indiana U. PressBloomington, IN
Breitman, R. and A. Lichtman2003FDR and the JewsHarvard U. PressCambridge, MA
Grant, Nancy1990TVA and Black Americans: Planning for the Status QuoTemple U. PressPhiladelphia, PA
Johnson, Kimberly2010Reforming Jim Crow: Southern Politics and the State Before BrownOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Kirby, John1982Black Americans in the Roosevelt Era: Liberalism and RaceU. of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
Lukens, Patrick2012A Quiet Victory for Latino Rights: FDR & Controversy Over "Whiteness"U. of Arizona PressTucson, AZ
*Reed, Touré2020Toward Freedom: The Case Against Race ReductionismVerso PressLondon, UK
Rung, Margaret2002Servants Of The State: Managing Diversity and Democracy In The Federal Workforce, 1933-1953U. of Georgia PressAthens, GA
*Sitkoff, Harvard2009A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue in The Depression DecadeOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Sklaroff, Lauren Rebecca2014Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the Roosevelt EraU. of North Carolina Press Chapel Hill, NC
Taylor, Graham1980The New Deal and American Indian Tribalism: Administration of the Indian Reorganization Act, 1934-1945U. of Nebraska PressLincoln, NE
Weiss, Nancy1983Farewell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDRPrinceton U. PressPrinceton, NJ
Watts, Jill2020The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of RooseveltGrove PressNew York, NY

New Deal Public Works and Relief Work book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Alexander, Benjamin2018The New Deal's Forest Army: How the Civilian Conservation Corps WorkedJohns Hopkins U. PressBaltimore, MD
Brinkley, Douglas 2016Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America Harper Books New York, NY
Cohen, Stan1980The Tree Army: A Pictorial History of the Civilian Conservation CorpsPictorial History Publishing CompanyMissoula, MT
Davis, Ren and Helen2011Our Mark on This Land: A Guide to the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in America’s ParksMcDonald & WoodwardGranville, OH
Henderson, Henry and David Woolner. Eds2005FDR and the Environment Palgrave MacmillanNew York, NY
Lacy, Leslie1976The Soil Soldiers: The Civilian Conservation Corps in the Great DepressionChilton Book Co.Radnor, PA
*Maher, Neil2007Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental MovementOxford U. PressNew York, NY
Page, John1985The Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Park ServiceNational Park ServiceWashington, DC
Phillips, Sarah2007This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New DealCambridge U. PressNew York, NY
Simms, D. Harper1970The Soil Conservation ServicePraegerNew York, NY
White, Richard1995The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia RiverHill and WangNew York, NY

The New Deal, Agriculture & Rural Aid book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Alexander, Benjamin2018New Deal's Forest Army: How the Civilian Conservation Corps WorkedJohns Hopkins U. PressBaltimore, MD
Alsberg, Henry1934America Fights the Depression: A Photographic Record of the Civil Works AdministrationCoward-McCannNew York, NY
Attewell, Steven2018People Must Live by Work: Direct Job Creation in America from FDR to ReaganU. of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia, PA
Billington, David and Donald Jackson 2006Big Dams of the New Deal Era: A Confluence of Engineering and Politics U. Oklahoma Press Norman, OK
Cole, Olen Jr. 1999The African-American Experience in the Civilian Conservation CorpsU. Press of FloridaGainesville, FL
Culvahouse, Tim, Ed. 2007The Tennessee Valley Authority: Design and Persuasion Princeton Architectural Press New York, NY
Hapke, Laura 2008Labor’s Canvas: American Working-Class History and the WPACambridge Scholars Newcastle, UK
Leighninger, Robert 2007Long-Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New DealU. of South Carolina Columbia, SC
Lowitt, Richard1984The New Deal and the WestIndiana U. Press Bloomington, IN
Salmond, John1967The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942: A New Deal Case StudyDuke U. PressDurham, NC
Smith, Jason Scott 2006Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956Cambridge U. PressNew York, NY
*Taylor, Nick 2009American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, When FDR Put the Nation to WorkBantam Books New York, NY

The New Deal and Labor book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
*Appelt, Kathi2019Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of KentuckyPurple Home PressCynthiana, KY
Conkin, Paul 2008A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929U. of Kentucky PressLexington, KY
Egan, Timothy2006The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American DustbowlMariner BooksNew York, NY
Fite, Gilbert1984Cotton Fields No More: Southern Agriculture, 1865-1980U. of Kentucky Press Lexington, KY
Gilbert, Jess Carr2015Planning Democracy: Agrarian Intellectuals and the Intended New DealYale U. PressNew Haven, CT
Lester, Connie2002Revolution in the Land: Southern Agriculture in the 20th CenturyMississippi State U.Jackson, MS
Newkirk, Vann2019The great land robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farmsThe Atlantic Magazine 8/26/2019New York, NY
Roberts, Charles2015The Farm Security Administration and Rural Rehabilitation in the SouthU. of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
Saloutos, Theodore1982The American Farmer and the New DealIowa State U. PressAmes, IA
Shields, Marquis1952The Farmer Takes A Hand: The Electric Power Revolution in Rural AmericaDoubledayGarden City, NY

The New Deal and the Arts book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Bernstein, Irving1985A Caring Society: The New Deal, the Worker and the Great DepressionHoughton MifflinBoston, MA
Ayers, Oliver2019Laboured Protest: Black Civil rights in New York City and Detroit during the New Deal and Second World WarRoutledgeNew York, NY
Cohen, Lizabeth 1990Making A New Deal: Industrial Workers In Chicago, 1919-1939 Cambridge U. PressNew York, NY
Gellman, Erik 2011The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal AmericaU. of Illinois PressUrbana, IL
Greenhouse, Steven 2008The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American WorkerAlfred A. KnopfNew York, NY
Horowitz, Roger1977"Negro and White, United and Fight!" A Social History of Industrial Unionism, 1930-1990U. of Illinois PressUrbana, IL
Levine, Rhonda1988Class Struggle and the New Deal: Industrial Labor, Industrial Capital and the StateU. of Kansas PressLawrence, KS
*Lichtenstein, Nelson 2002The State of the Union: A Century of American Labor Princeton U. PressPrinceton, NJ
Paulsen, George1996A Living Wage for the Forgotten Man: The Quest for Fair Labor Standards, 1933-1941Susquehanna U. PressSelinsgrove, PA
Rosensweig, Roy and Nelson Lichtenstein2008Who Built America: Working People and the Nation's HistoryBedford/St. Martin'sBoston, MA

The New Deal and Housing book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Adams, Katherine and Michael Keene2016Women, Art and the New DealMcFarlandJefferson, NC
*Borchert, Scott2021Republic of Detours: How the New Deal Paid Broke Writers to Rediscover AmericaFarrar, Straus & Giroux New York, NY
Dijkstra, Bram2003American Expressionism: Art and Social Change 1920-1950Harry AbramsNew York, NY
Fender, Stephen 2012Nature, Class, and New Deal Literature: The Country Poor in the Great DepressionRoutledgeNew York, NY
Griswold, Wendy2016American Guides: The Federal Writers’ Project and the Casting of American CultureU. of Chicago PressChicago, IL
*Kennedy, Roger2009When Art Worked: The New Deal Art and DemocracyRizzoliNew York, NY
Kroiz, Lauren2018Cultivating Citizens: The Regional Work of Art in the New Deal EraU. of California PressBerkeley, CA
Mangione, Jerre1972The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers’ Project, 1935-1943Little BrownBoston, MA
McLerran, Jennifer2009A New Deal for Native Art: Indian Arts and Federal Policy, 1933-1943U. of Arizona PressTucson, AZ
Musher, Sharon Ann 2015Democratic Art: The New Deal’s Influence on American Culture U. of Chicago PressChicago, IL
Quinn, Susan2008Furious Improvisation: How the WPA and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate TimesWalker and Co.New York, NY
Saal, Ilka 2007New Deal Theater: The Vernacular Tradition in American Political TheaterPalgrave Macmillan New York, NY
Taylor, David 2009The Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression AmericaWiley BooksSan Francisco, CA

The New Deal and the South book list.

AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Carriker, Robert 2010Urban Farming in the West: A New Deal Experiment in Subsistence HomesteadsU. of Arizona PressTucson, AZ
Fishback, Price, Jonathan Rose and Kenneth Snowden2013Well Worth Saving: How the New Deal Safeguarded Home OwnershipU. of Chicago PressChicago, IL
Freund, David 2007Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban AmericaU. of Chicago PressChicago, IL
*Gelfand, Mark1975A Nation of Cities: The Federal Government and Urban America 1933-1975Oxford U. PressNew York, NY
Goetz, Edward 2013New Deal Ruins: Race, Economic Justice, and Public Housing PolicyCornell U. PressIthaca, NY
Gibbons, Andrea2018City of Segregation: 100 Years of Struggle for Housing in Los AngelesVerso PressLondon, UK
Kimble, Lionel, Jr. 2015A New Deal for Bronzeville: Housing, Employment and Civil Rights in Black Chicago, 1935-1955South Illinois U. PressCarbondale, IL
Massey, Douglas and Nancy Denton 1993American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the UnderclassHarvard U. PressCambridge, MA
*Radford, Gail1996Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal EraU. of Chicago PressChicago, IL
Szylvian, Kristin M. 2015The Mutual Housing Experience: New Deal Communities for the Urban Middle ClassTemple U. PressPhiladelphia, PA
Wright, Gwendolyn1981Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in AmericaMIT PressCambridge, MA
AuthorPub DateTitlePublisherPub City
Biles, Roger1994The South and the New DealU. of Kentucky Press Lexington, KY
Cobb, James and Michael Namorato, Eds1984The New Deal and the SouthU. of MississippiJackson, MS
Gilmore, Glenda2008Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950W.W. NortonNew York, NY
Gregory, James2005The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of White and Black Southerners Transformed AmericaU. of North Carolina Press Chapel Hill, NC
Jordan, Milton2019Conflict and Cooperation: Reflections on the New Deal in TexasSouth Austin U. PressNacogdoches, TX
Lowndes, Joseph 2008From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern ConservatismYale U. PressNew Haven, CT
Metz, Paul1978New Deal Policy and Southern Rural PovertyLouisiana State U.Baton Rouge, LA
*Reed, Adolph Jr.2022The South: Jim Crow and Its AfterlivesJacobin PressNew York, NY
Schulman, Bruce1994From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Federal Policy, Economic Development, and the Transformation of the South, 1939-1980Duke U. PressDurham, NC
Smith, Douglas1988The New Deal in the Urban SouthLouisiana State U.Baton Rouge, LA
*Wright, Gavin1986Old South, New South: Revolution in the Southern Economy Since the Civil WarBasic BooksNew York, NY

Living New Deal. Still Working for America.