Think FDR was a great president? Think again.
The Great Depression and the New Deal—for generations, the collective American consciousness has believed that the former ruined the country and the latter saved it. Endless praise has been heaped upon President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for masterfully reining in the Depression’s destructive effects and propping up the country on his New Deal platform. In fact, FDR has achieved mythical status in American history and is considered to be, along with Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, one of the greatest presidents of all time. But would the Great Depression have been so catastrophic had the New Deal never been implemented?
In FDR’s Folly, historian Jim Powell argues that it was in fact the New Deal itself, with its shortsighted programs, that deepened the Great Depression, swelled the federal government, and prevented the country from turning around quickly. You’ll discover in alarming detail how FDR’s federal programs hurt America more than helped it, with effects we still feel today, including how Social Security actually increased unemployment, how higher taxes undermined good businesses, how new labor laws threw people out of work, and much more.
This groundbreaking book pulls back the shroud of awe and the cloak of time enveloping FDR to prove convincingly how flawed his economic policies actually were, despite his good intentions and the astounding intellect of his circle of advisers. In today’s turbulent domestic and global environment, eerily similar to that of the 1930s, it’s more important than ever before to uncover and understand the truth of our history, lest we be doomed to repeat it. You’ll never look at FDR in the same way again.
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Reads like the first thousand charges in FDR's impeachment trial
And even then, the author didn't mention the Airmail Pilot Death scandal, the libelous attacks on Charles Lindbergh (the only guy who was popular enough to overcome all of FDR's vote-buying-graft, had he run for President), the imprisoning of American Japanese, or the looting of their property. Still it takes almost ten hours to list all of FDR's crimes and misdemeanors. I wish he had been tossed out on his socialist tush in 1936. Alas! We might still be great today.
While the author does a great job explaining the three factors that actually caused the Depression-- it was not Wall St. corruption as FDR claimed-- he does leave out one additional point, which should make this book even more enjoyable. In 1929, the Federal government had no oversight over stock trading. There was no SEC. So any "supposed" crimes or corruption were under the jurisdiction of New York State. New York elected representatives were the responsible party for it all. And who was in charge of New York State before, during, and after the Crash in 1929? Why none other than Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt. So FDR's Folly really isn't just his insane response to the Depression, it was his own fault as well. Sadly voters in the 30s, Historians in the 60s, and protestors in the 2010s are too stupid to make such connections, that's why we're in the mess we're in today.
Read this book, not the save America, LBJ, W, and Obama-- building on FDR's Folly-- have finished us. Read it instead to understand how we achieved third-world status in just one lifetime, so you can stop it or prevent it, in case you're ever magically transported back in time. I know I will.
A great book. "FDR's Folly" shatters all the historical misconecptions about the Great Depression and the New Deal. Hoover didn't twittle his thumbs while the country went into the crapper and Roosevelt did not ride in on a white horse to save the day. Both were big government interventionists. Roosevelt just took what Hoover started and took it to the tenth power. The micro managment of the economy by the Federal Government is what made the Great Depression so great. The book is a must read or listen to.