Edward Radice, English Scholar Present at the Dawn of the New Deal

My daughter Dr. Martha Radice (a social anthropologist at Dalhousie University in Canada) heard about your project, the Living New Deal, and we thought that you might be interested in adding my father’s (her grandfather’s) works to your bibliography.

Dr Edward Albert Radice spent two years (1933-35) at Columbia University doing graduate work in economics and banking, supported by a Commonwealth Fellowship. During that time, he did extensive research into the state of the US economy and the economic policies of the first Roosevelt administration, which led to the publication of two studies in 1936, one with an Oxford colleague, Dr Maurice Hugh-Jones. The studies were:

(with E M Hugh-Jones) An American Experiment, Oxford University Press, London, 1936, pp viii + 296

Fundamental Issues in the United States: A Brief Study of Constitutional and Administrative Problems, Oxford University Press for the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1936

The approach taken in these studies very much reflects both the political and scholarly debates in the US on the causes of the Depression and possible cures for it, and the authors’ political views, which originated in the parallel circumstances of Britain. Their stance towards the New Deal was supportive, but tempered by criticism for the inadequacies of the measures actually taken.

During his undergraduate studies at Oxford in 1925-29, my father had joined the Independent Labour Party, a radical group affiliated to the much larger Labour Party, which formed governments in Britain in 1924-5 and 1929-31. After working briefly in banking on graduation, he worked for a left-wing think-tank, the New Fabian Research Bureau, from 1931-33; unsuccessfully stood for Parliament as a Labour Party candidate in the 1931 election; and contributed essays on banking and other topics to a number of publications.

While at Columbia in 1933-1935 my father took every opportunity to travel widely in the United States. Among other things, he took part in a research project organised by a Professor of Banking at Columbia into the workings of the Federal Reserve System, spending the summer of 1934 studying the Fed’s Atlanta branch. He traveled by road to California with a group of Oxford friends (including a foolhardy crossing of Death Valley at the height of summer). During a second transcontinental trip across the northern USA from New York to Seattle, he attended the annual conference of the Socialist Party in Chicago as a fraternal delegate from the ILP, and told of giving a hobo a 500-mile ride across the Rockies from Billings to Spokane; at that time there was no metalled (paved) road across the mountains. In the summer of 1935, he traveled in the South with his fiancee, whom he married the following year. As he and Dr. Hugh-Jones wrote in the introduction to An American Experiment:

“Much of [our] first-hand knowledge has been gained from personal contact with government and trade-union officials, bankers, lawyers, journalists, university professors, and unemployed workers, too numerous to thank individually.”

Following doctoral studies in Oxford, my father returned to the USA as an Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, from 1937-39. After a brief period at the League of Nations in 1939, he spent the next thirty years as a British civil servant, mostly working in economic intelligence.

We hope this is of interest.

Hugo Radice, Life Fellow
School of Politics and International Studies
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
[email protected]

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And the Winners are . . .

FDR delivering one of his fireside chats.

The 2023 New Deal Book Award

The winning titles and authors have been announced. The 2023 Award, with a prize of $1,000, will be presented at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library June 22, 2024.