Perspectives on 20th Century America: Readings and Commentary

By Otis L. Graham Jr. | Go to book overview

sketch of Long and his meteoric career as a political and social dissenter. Long and other mass leaders -- such as Father Charles Coughlin, Francis E. Town- send, Upton Sinclair, Governor Floyd Olson, and Norman Thomas -- reflect the turbulence of the depression and the deficiencies of the New Deal. They were a vital part of the setting within which Roosevelt maneuvered, and any interpre- tation of the New Deal must come to terms with what they represented and what they might have become.


9.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.: The Messiah of the Rednecks

Of all the national political leaders who competed with Roosevelt for the votes and loyalties of America's restless millions, Huey Long was the most gifted and, until his death in September, 1935, the most successful. Contemporaries knew he was no marginal figure, but a primary politician with an attractive, radical program and a growing audience. Roosevelt him- self judged Long "the second most dangerous man in America" (Douglas MacArthur was the first, in Roosevelt's opinion), and the President came to this view well before receiving reports that Long could poll up to four mil- lion votes on a third-party ticket if he chose to run against the New Deal in 1936. Does the fact that Long -- and others -- could build such a base on the left edge of Roosevelt's New Deal mean that a majority of the voting public was ready for more drastic measures than Roosevelt would attempt?

Long was killed before he could test his belief that the majority of Ameri- cans did want something more radical than the New Deal. Our efforts to judge whether the New Deal actually functioned to restrain social reform, therefore, lead us to his career although we can find no concrete answer there. In speculating whether a New Deal under Huey Long would have led America into more desirable paths, we must first attempt to clarify what sort of political ideas and impulses he really represented. On this there is conflict- ing evidence, and sharp interpretive disagreement. Long saw himself as a man of the left, who would lead the mass of common citizens to reclaim eco- nomic and political power from the capitalist elites -- and without the sacri- fice of any but some of the more tedious trappings of parliamentary democ- racy. Others saw him as a power-hungry dictator with no real commitment to redistribution of wealth and no tolerance of the system of counterbalanc- ing powers which are vital to any democratic social order. The distance be- tween the revolutionary socialist and the fascist is often not so great; Long gave evidence of both inclinations. In the essay below, Arthur M. Schlesin- ger, Jr., presents one of the most vivid and compact portraits of Long in the 1930s. Schlesinger leans to the view that Long would have taken America into dictatorship, probably with a rightist cast. But others, most notably T. Harry Williams in his prize-winning biography, Huey Long ( 1969), see Long

From Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Politics of Upheaval, pp. 15-16, 42-45, 58-68. Copyright © by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Company.

-145-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Perspectives on 20th Century America: Readings and Commentary
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 434

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.