Beyond the New Deal Order

Beyond the New Deal Order

U.S. Politics from the Great Depression to the Great Recession

by Gary Gerstle, Nelson Lichtenstein, Alice O'Connor

2 illus.

  • Hardcover
  • 9780812251739
  • Published: December 2019



Ever since introducing the concept in the late 1980s, historians have been debating the origins, nature, scope, and limitations of the New Deal order—the combination of ideas, electoral and governing strategies, redistributive social policies, and full employment economics that became the standard-bearer for political liberalism in the wake of the Great Depression and commanded Democratic majorities for decades. In the decline and break-up of the New Deal coalition historians found keys to understanding the transformations that, by the late twentieth century, were shifting American politics to the right.

In Beyond the New Deal Order, contributors bring fresh perspective to the historic meaning and significance of New Deal liberalism while identifying the elements of a distinctively "neoliberal" politics that emerged in its wake. Part I offers contemporary interpretations of the New Deal with essays that focus on its approach to economic security and inequality, its view of participatory governance, and its impact on the Republican party as well as Congressional politics. Part II features essays that examine how intersectional inequities of class, race, and gender were embedded in New Deal labor law, labor standards, and economic policy and brought demands for employment, economic justice, and collective bargaining protections to the forefront of civil rights and social movement agendas throughout the postwar decades. Part III considers the precepts and defining narratives of a "post" New Deal political structure, while the closing essay contemplates the extent to which we may now be witnessing the end of a neoliberal system anchored in free-market ideology, neo-Victorian moral aspirations, and post-Communist global politics.

Contributors: Eileen Boris, Angus Burgin, Gary Gerstle, Romain Huret, Meg Jacobs, Michael Kazin, Sophia Lee, Nelson Lichtenstein, Joe McCartin, Alice O'Connor, Paul Sabin, Reuel Schiller, Kit Smemo, David Stein, Jean-Christian Vinel, Julian Zelizer.