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 reigning in the depression’s destructive effects and propping up the country on his New Deal platform. In fact, Roosevelt 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.
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