Summary: The Great Depression was a world crisis that required international solutions, but nationalism was the dominating force of the 1930s. In that spirit, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal attempted “recovery in one country.” Six and a half years later, as World War II began in Europe, the New Deal could claim considerable achievement in ministering to the needs of the poor and unemployed, but it had failed to revive the American economy. Recovery by then was four years old in democratic Britain and Nazi Germany, the world’s next two leading economic powers. The rise of a Nazi-led fascist axis, moreover, left democracy increasingly endangered around the world. This new examination of Roosevelt’s leadership contrasts America’s response to the crisis of the Depression with those of Britain and Germany.
Alonzo L. Hamby is Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio University, where he teaches twentieth-century United States history. He was president of the Ohio Academy of History, 1989-90. He has written two books on Harry Truman, Beyond the New Deal: Harry S. Truman and American Liberalism (1973), winner of the David D. Lloyd Prize, the Phi Alpha Theta First Book Award, and the Ohio Academy of History Book Award, and Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman (1995), winner of the Harry S. Truman and Herbert Hoover book prizes. His most recent book is For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s.