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That Broader Definition of Liberty


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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction Chapter 1: The Political Theory of the New Deal 3 Chapter 2: The Evolution of Reform: Populist and Progressive Forebears Part II: Ends Chapter 3: "Necessary First Lessons": The Preconditions of the Welfare State Chapter 4: "That Broader Definition of Liberty:" The Social Contract of the New Deal Part III: Means Chapter 5: "All Armed Prophets Have Conquered": The New Deal's Theory of Agency Chapter 6: The Third New Deal: The Institutional Context of Reform Part IV: Conclusion Chapter 7: "A Living and Growing Thing:" Appropriating New Deal Liberalism

About the Author

Brian Stipelman teaches American politics and political theory at Dowling College.


[This is a] unique work in the field that will garner much praise from scholars in political science, political theory, and history. . . . [Stipelman] presents a fresh, vigorous analysis of the theoretical and political underpinnings of the New Deal and assesses not only its roots and successes, but also its continued relevance for contemporary politics, policy, and theory. For far too long, scholarship on the New Deal has been almost exclusively the domain of historians and historically-oriented political scientists. This study offers something unique and bold: a study of the political theory of the New Deal conceived not in abstract terms, but in terms of real politics while offering a compelling argument for the continued relevance of the theory of the New Deal for contemporary politics and political thought. Although the author focuses upon a set of thinkers-specifically Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, Thurman Arnold, and Eleanor Roosevelt-he escapes the typical trap of biography and the reduction of the New Deal to individual thinkers alone. This is an important, and timely work. -- Michael J. Thompson, William Paterson University
An important book for both citizens and scholars. Brian Stipelman explores the meaning of the New Deal-as political theory, as political practice, and as a story to be understood and passed on. His meticulous scholarship offers us a powerful new understanding of the New Deal. His engaging conclusions offer us a fresh way to think about politics-and about liberalism in America. Bold, fresh, elegant, thoughtful, wise, and highly recommended. -- Brown University, James A. Morone, Brown University
Historians and political scientists largely have viewed the New Deal as an almost purely political project. While a few historians and scholars of American political development have outlined a political theory of the New Deal, Stipelman (Dowling College) offers what is likely the first book-length study that takes seriously the ideas of New Deal Democrats. The author focuses on four key figures: Franklin Delano Roosevelt; his wife, Eleanor; his key aide (and eventual vice president), Henry A. Wallace; and the legal scholar and practitioner Thurman Arnold. Going beyond these thinkers' ideas about state intervention and institution building, Stipelman articulates the key assumptions about economics, liberty and happiness, and class structure that underlie their political thought. Some scholars may disagree with the author's emphasis on particular aspects of New Deal theory, such as the choice of consumerism as the basis of happiness and security. But even critical readers will appreciate this fine volume for its role in starting the conversation. Summing Up: Highly recommended. * CHOICE *

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