Foreword

It seems a long time ago. Franklin Roosevelt has been dead less than three years but already his time seems as sharply defined as the block of stone above his grave at Hyde Park. Sometimes there seems to have been almost a conspiracy, engaged in by both his friends and his enemies, to push the period of his impact upon America as quickly and as far into history as possible. No people have been quite as insistent that the New Deal is over and done as some of these who under Roosevelt were parts of it. Their personal dismay and political despair is only matched by those who are enlisted in the improbable task of recreating America exactly as it was before Roosevelt arrived in the Presidency. Sometimes, indeed, only Westbrook Pegler in his energetic defilement of a dead enemy seems unwilling to relinquish the period of Roosevelt to the past. It is behind us and what is behind us, of course, is history. The amazing, the heartening and also the disturbing thing is, as Milton Crane shows us in this book, that that time was not only America then but also America now -- lacking only the leadership of the man who gave his name to the period.

I had not read -- or re-read -- the splendid collection of vivid writing about the period which he has brought together here when I first talked to Milton Crane about this book. I am afraid I expected just another anthology. I was aware then across a luncheon

-vii-

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