The New Deal policies of the 1930s never brought an end to the Great Depression, but by establishing Social Security, ending child labor, and establishing a federal minimum wage, Franklin Roosevelt’s administration and their allies in Congress laid the framework for the widespread prosperity of the post-World War II-era. As the gap between the richest and poorest Americans continues to widen at remarkable speed, politicians on the left have called for a return to the New Deal. But it might be better to look elsewhere.
In this episode we speak with Jefferson Cowie about his books Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor, (Cornell University Press, 1999) & The Great Exception: The New Deal & The Limits of American Politics, (Princeton University Press, 2016).
Dr. Jefferson Cowie is James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. You can learn more about him and his work at his website, jeffersoncowie.info.
This episode originally aired on October 17, 2016 as RTN #24 The New Deal and It’s Legacy w/ Jefferson Cowie. This reair was edited by Ben Sawyer.